PUCHONG: Forming clubs and holding workshops in residential areas and villages can help the community sustain a better quality of life, says Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
He said it was in line with the National Community Policy (NCP) aimed at empowering the community, especially those in the B40 socio-economic group.
"By setting up clubs, local communities could discuss issues in their neighbourhood and channel information to the relevant authorities for further action.
"And through workshops, residents can be taught how to start up businesses in various field including cooking," he told a press conference after launching NCP in Puchong Indah on Sunday (Feb 17).
He said with the advent of Information Technology, even people in villages could market their products globally.
"For example, kuih made in villages can be sold via online to customers nationwide, and even worldwide.
"Venturing into online businesses can help increase income.
"And with better income, people can buy better homes," he said.
Dr Mahathir also said investing in homes would be a smart move to secure a better future, as property prices appreciate over time.
"Low-cost homes used to cost RM25,000, and people are now willing to pay RM150,000 to buy over," he said.
Dr Mahathir hoped more players from the private sector could be roped in to build one million affordable homes within 10 years.
Currently, the ceiling price of affordable home is RM300,000 per unit.
"We will try our best to fulfil our election promises, despite facing unavoidable obstacles," he added.
Dr Mahathir said as the nation progresses, the rakyat must also enjoy a more comfortable life.
"What is the point if the country achieves developed status, but some people still live in rundown homes without electricity and tarred roads.
"Among the countries that achieve Independence after World War II, Malaysia is better developed and its rakyat enjoy relatively comfortable lives," he said.
Local Government and Housing Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin, who was also present at the event, said the NCP was aimed at empowering the community, especially those living in strata homes.
Eight clusters outlined in NCP encompass infrastructure and maintenance; cleanliness, environment and health; security; education and skills training; care for children, the elderly, handicapped, women, single mother and the poor; entrepreneurial and social businesses; social service; as well as sports and recreation.
"Under a pilot project in Lembah Subang Two, we have implemented 32 programmes and initiatives," she said.
She hoped to expand such projects to 133 People's Housing Projects (PPRs) nationwide.