KOTA KINABALU: Sabah's poverty eradication programmes are bearing fruit as the number of poor households continue to drop over the last five years.
Yang Di-Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin said the agropolitan programmes carried out for the hardcore poor in Kalabakan and Tongod have brought benefits to 1,167 in hardcore poor households.
Speaking at the annual opening of the Sabah Legislative Assembly sitting here yesterday, he said that each poor family under the scheme has been receiving dividends of RM400 every month since January 2010.
Those under the Tongod scheme had received a lump sum of RM4,800 each for the year 2010, said Tun Juhar, who was appointed the Yang Di-Pertua Negeri last January.
Juhar said steps taken by both the state and federal government to eradicate poverty have seen the poverty rate fall to 19.7% in 2009 as compared to 24.2% in 2004.
He said the government had taken various initiatives to improve facilities in the state and this included the building of the 661-bed twin tower block at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital I that was expected to be completed by December next year.
He said an additional 85 to 455 beds would be available once renovations were completed at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital II in May this year apart from other efforts to upgrade medical facilities for the people's benefit.
Juhar also said that five 1Malaysia clinics and 18 mobile clinics have also started operations to serve the people.
He said Sabah was seeing rapid progress in various sectors including tourism, agriculture and livestock breeding while it was also seeing progressive development in the oil and gas industry with the setting up of the Sabah Oil and Gas Terminal.
Juhar urged the people to adopt and support the 1Malaysia concept in efforts to further spur development in the state.
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