PETALING JAYA: Petronas, General Electric, AirAsia and Astro are among the companies which had lent a helping hand to the Government’s efforts to eradicate poverty in Malaysia through the Government Transformation Programme (GTP).
Through the Raising Living Standards of Low Income Households (LIH) NKRA, the Government sought the cooperation of NGOs and corporate partners to increase the reach and effectiveness of the initiative.
Last year, Astro constructed a school hostel in Ranau, which now houses over 120 students.
The three-block hostel is equipped with a multi-purpose hall and a warden room for students from 10 villages in the area.
Petronas, along with its NGO partner MyKasih Foundation, came up with a programme that benefited 13,500 poor families in Malaysia with “prepaid cards” which they could use to buy essential food items from supermarkets for a period of two years.
Since the start of the Sentuhan Harapan Programme in 2010, which encourages families to improve themselves and learn skills to break free from the poverty cycle, over 5,000 families have participated.
Non-profit group Yayasan Sejahtera, tasked to help improve the lives of the poor, has been supporting the development of three villages in Pitas, Sabah, and has so far implemented several projects including a subsistence farming programme, a water access programme and a youth empowerment programme.
According to the GTP report released by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Monday, the collaboration was to leverage on each other’s strengths, whether in terms of funding or expertise.
“The support and generosity of these parties accelerated the delivery of aid to key groups targeted in the GTP, thus accelerating our goal to reach all rakyat in need of aid,” the report said.
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim said 1AZAM, another project under the NKRA, had done an “excellent job” in eradicating almost all hardcore poverty in Malaysia.
An earlier report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) based on the National Household Income Survey in 2012 showed that poverty in Malaysia had fallen to 1.7%.
The GTP report stated that the achievement had come “much earlier” than expected as the NKRA team had set 2015 as its deadline to drop poverty rates to below 2%.