KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): Poverty eradication programmes in the country have been implemented not only by taking into consideration racial and ethnic composition, but also various other factors in efforts to create fair and equal opportunities for all.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (pic) said it was also to ensure that the country’s wealth could be distributed and enjoyed equally by the people.
"The Perikatan Nasional government’s policy is to implement a comprehensive poverty eradication programme and this takes into account the disparities between Bumiputra and non-Bumiputra, regional and non-regional areas including in Sabah and Sarawak after various initiatives done previously.”
He said this in reply to Senator Datuk Razali Idris who wanted to know about the initiatives taken by the government to tackle poverty issues in Kelantan, Terengganu, Sabah and Sarawak.
The Prime Minister said the emphasis given by the government on the efforts to improve bumiputera’s socio-economic status did not mean that the government was sidelining the non-bumiputeras, hence the creation of the Shared Prosperity Vision policy which took into consideration the interests of all races.
"Nevertheless, the bumiputeras make up the majority with almost 70% of the country’s total population, and that is why the government focuses on them to develop the economy as a whole, ” he said.
Muhyiddin, however, said that the government was always concerned with the problems faced by the non-bumiputeras and would not neglect them, especially in terms of poverty.
"We cannot neglect them or let them live in poverty because they are non-bumiputeras, we cannot just help the Malays to be richer. No, we cannot. We must have a fair policy for all races in the country, ” he said.
Muhyiddin said that one of the problems faced by the government in the efforts to eradicate poverty was the lack of a database which had complete information on the bumiputera’s current achievements in various economic sectors.
For that, he said the government had established the Bumiputera Agenda Steering Unit (Teraju) under the Prime Minister’s Department, as the secretariat to coordinate and steer the bumiputera agenda in a bid to increase the bumiputera’s share of the economy.
Besides, in order to empower the bumiputera economy, Muhyiddin said the focus would also be given to their participation in certain sectors, such as industrial, banking, manufacturing and electronic, where the government could identify their weaknesses and introduce certain initiatives to ensure that they will not lag behind compared to other races.
In reply to Razali's question on the effectiveness of the Bumiputera Prosperity Council (MKB), the Prime Minister said the bumiputera poverty rate stood at 7.2% in 2019, while the unemployment rate for the second quarter of this year was 5.2% compared to the national average of 5.1%.
He said bumiputera equity ownership in the corporate sector was only 16.2% in 2015 compared to non-Bumiputera at 30.7% and foreign ownership at 45.3%. - Bernama
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