Wing defends its rural programme


  • Nation
  • Thursday, 19 Jun 2003

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno Youth has defended its masuk kampung programme, which requires its members to spend time with rural residents and help them improve their livelihood. 

Stating that it is a good programme, which had yielded results, Youth information chief Azimi Daim said hard-core poor people from 10 families nationwide had benefited so far. 

In his motion of thanks for the keynote address of Youth chief Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein, he said there were many people, particularly those from PAS, who only criticise but did nothing to help the hard-core poor. 

“Our programme has touched many people. How can PAS say that is a mere waste of time?” he asked. 

Taking a swipe at the opposition party, Azimi tickled the delegates with a story about a supposedly talking dog which was up for sale at a market. 

“A man was curious as to why the owner of the dog wanted to sell his pet when it could talk. 

“The dog told the prospective buyer that it had now been fed by its owner. 

“To this, the owner replied that he didn’t mind that his dog talked a lot but he could not stand the canine telling lies,” said Azimi. 

During the debate, Pahang delegate Khairuddin Yaakob said the Youth movement should take a firm stand on the issue of the Malays in Penang who were being left out from the mainstream of development. 

Federal Territory representative Ramlan Askolani said there was danger behind the Government’s eagerness to eradicate squatters in urban areas, especially in state capitals. 

Each time a squatter area is identified for development, an average of 200 families would have to be relocated, he said. 

Ramlan said as a sign of protest, these people, such as petty traders, taxi drivers and other low-wage earners, would become anti-Umno and anti-government. 

Penang representative Raja Munir Shah Raja Mustapa said the recently introduced micro credit scheme appeared to also benefit PAS members as there are supporters and sympathisers of the party in Bank Simpanan Nasional and Bank Pembangunan, the two financial institutions that manage the scheme. 

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