‘Coordinated assistance needed to reach out to needy folk’

Abdul Latif (left) visiting a furniture workshop in Mersing to find out their needs and share what government assistance is available.

THE needy in Johor will truly benefit if non-governmental organisations work together to provide coordinated assistance.

Priduli Johor adviser Datuk Abdul Latif Bandi said this would help ensure that they get what they really require instead of ad hoc help.

“The movement control order since last year has made it more difficult for people to sustain their livelihood and provide for their families during these hard times.

“I believed that this is where NGOs like us can play a role in working together; instead of feeding them fish, we should teach them how to fish so that they can provide for themselves and others for a lifetime, ” he said when contacted.

Abdul Latif added that NGOs should not work in silos, but instead collaborate to create a bigger and solid coalition that could address the needs of all Johoreans, regardless of race, religion and political affiliation.

“This is not the right time to talk about politics, people want to hear how they can generate an income to put food on the table.

“This is where NGOs come in and act as the middleman between those in need and the government, ” he said, adding that some people were still unsure of how to get help from government agencies.

Abdul Latif said Priduli Johor was an NGO that bridged this gap.

“We provide help in terms of follow-up cases where applications for assistance are overlooked or rejected, and also shed light on deserving cases, ” he said.

He added that Priduli Johor has been working closely with the state Welfare Department and the Rubber Industries Smallholders Development Authority.

Meanwhile, Priduli Segamat adviser Datuk Ayub Rahmat, who is also state chairman for housing and local government, said the Digital Johor agenda introduced by the state government would especially help young entrepreneurs.

“The majority of businesses have shifted online and this includes small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

“The majority of enquiries we receive are mostly on how the new policy can help them gain more income and grow their online business, ” he added.

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