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‘Break Poverty Cycle Among Malaysia’s Urban Poor’

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The government should strengthen and multiply its efforts to solve issues related to the urban poor, especially among the Bumiputera.

Cheras Wanita Umno chief Umno Datuk Zurainah Musa said there were poor urbanites, including youths who faced a tough time owning homes and obtaining entrepreneur opportunities.

“What we can see in cities now is a second wave of urban poor. Their parents had also moved into the cities many years ago to seek their fortune, but they remain in the low-income group till this day.

“Now their children are in the same predicament and they remain in this income bracket,” Zurainah told the New Straits Times.

She said efforts to change the cycle of poverty among urbanites was necessary, as the problem was faced by the youth.

Zurainah said despite initiatives, such as the People’s Housing Project (PPR) and 1Malaysia People’s Housing (PR1MA), which are to ease the people’s burden in obtaining homes, the government faced constraints in implementing them.

She said such efforts remained a big challenge for policy-makers despite a policy that required private developers to build affordable and low-cost housing priced between RM42,000 and RM200,000 in each housing estate.

There should also be more collaboration by local authorities in building affordable homes.

“In this aspect, local authorities play a role in helping the government to obtain land to build more PR1MA homes.

“Housing developers, on the other hand, should also be concerned with the plight of the rakyat and not think of profit alone.”

On a related matter, Zurainah, who had raised these issues at last week’s Umno General Assembly, said the government should rope in the private sector in its effort to set up a quality and skilled workforce.

“The private companies should be helping TalentCorp in its drive to attract Malaysian talent back to their home country. ”

Zurainah said the adoption of the National Entrepreneur Development Policy, which was among the motions tabled at the assembly, was a step in the right direction.

“It is timely that the development of Bumiputera entrepreneurs came under one roof and I see that this has become a reality through this proposed development policy.”

She said the policy would serve as a comprehensive strategy to help the Malays and Bumiputera to have access to capital, and access to domestic and global markets for their ventures.

She said entrepreneurs would benefit from a small banking institute dedicated for Bumiputera small and medium enterprises.-NST


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