FT Dept initiatives to keep city folk from falling on hard times

More than 60,000 public housing units have been built or are in various stages of completion throughout the Federal Territories.

CASES of families termed as “hardcore poor” in the Federal Territories have been successfully resolved, as of December 2023.

According to the Federal Territories Department (JWP), this was done in partnership with government agencies, private companies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and residents groups.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Federal Territories Dr Zaliha Mustafa said JWP, along with its partner agencies, were continuously looking for ways to further support and uplift families out of poverty.

ALSO READ: Poverty eradication a top priority

“Some of the initiatives include having engagement sessions with hardcore poor families, setting up special teams in each parliamentary constituency as well as bolstering entrepreneurial opportunities.

“Additionally, under the Baiti Jannati@Federal Territories home ownership programme, JWP would work with more private sector parties to raise funds and sponsor home ownership for the hardcore poor,” she added.

Between 2016 and 2023, 330 hardcore poor families were beneficiaries of the programme.

This, along with other accomplishments (see graphics), make the Federal Territories stand out, said Dr Zaliha in an exclusive interview with StarMetro.

“Kuala Lumpur has always been a benchmark for Malaysia’s progress and achievements.

“As early as 2016, Kuala Lumpur was recognised for achieving world standards in public transportation, including the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system that was under construction at that time.

“This advanced system is on par with those found in developed cities outside the country, such as San Francisco and New York.”


She said with Kuala Lumpur’s population reaching 2.35 million people, traffic congestion was a significant concern.

The solution for this, she said, was given priority in Kuala Lumpur Structure Plan 2040 (KLSP2040), with public transportation becoming the primary mode of connectivity for the city’s residents.

“Various initiatives are proposed and planned to enhance these support facilities by 2040.

“These include interconnecting bus routes, park-and-ride facilities, and ensuring safe and comfortable pedestrian pathways to nearby transport hubs,” she added.

Dr Zaliha said the department, along with Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), had also taken steps to address the homeless population in the city.

“This includes setting up the homeless transit centres in Jalan Pahang and Medan Tuanku in 2016, which serve as shelters and training centres.

“Through the JWP Job Placement Programme, 166 former homeless people were able to secure stable employment.”

In Labuan, things are also looking up, she highlighted.

“Crew change activity, involving the exchange of crews in the oil and gas (O&G) industry, has also resumed in Labuan.

“This has positively impacted the local economy of Labuan, particularly the hospitality sector, food premises, service industries, and logistics that support the O&G sector,” said Dr Zaliha.

She said this would boost Labuan’s economy with the arrival and departure of O&G crews of about 3,500 to 4,000 crew members per month.

In Putrajaya, the focus has been on drawing in more tourists to the Federal Government’s administrative centre, she noted.

The various events and programmes such as Floria Diraja Putrajaya, Putrajaya Open Day, Light and Motion Putrajaya, and National Day celebration, saw an impressive growth in the number of domestic and international tourists between 2022 and 2023.

There were five million visitors in 2022, with figures increasing to almost 20 million in 2023. — By BAVANI M and SHALINI RAVINDRAN

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FT , notable achievements , KL , Putrajaya , Labuan


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