Padu a useful tool in overcoming poverty, Bumiputra Economic Congress told

PUTRAJAYA: The Central Database Hub (Padu) will be a useful tool to eradicate poverty, says economist Datuk Dr Madeline Berma.

The honorary professor at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak said it would help authorities and non-governmental organisations identify those who needed aid.

"For instance, there was a previous weakness during the Covid-19 pandemic situation, on what academics normally refer to as the error of omission and the error of inclusion.

"Some of the people listed as poor are not actually eligible while those who are eligible are not listed (to receive) assistance.

"This is where Padu can help," she said during a panel session on the second day of the 2024 Bumiputra Economic Congress (KEB 2024) on Friday (March 1).

She also noted that there are certain dynamics in the definition of poverty for particular groups.

For example, some individuals may be categorised as being in the middle-income group (M40) in the middle of the month or as bottom 40 (B40) at other times, she said.

This was termed transient poverty or short-term poverty, she explained.

"Padu will be able to track this in real-time and this will also help the authorities.

"I am not saying that Padu is a perfect system but it is a fantastic start by the government," she said.

Masala Wheels co-founder Kuhan Pathy, who has years of experience doing community work in the Federal Territories, also praised Padu.

He said that when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, NGOs had to rely heavily on data from the government's e-Kasih database.

"When we have a verified database such as this, we can target our assistance.

"With Padu, I believe the database will be more comprehensive.

"As NGOs, (the) data (in Padu) is helpful for us," he added.

Universiti Malaysia Kelantan director Prof Dr Wan Ahmad Amir Zal Wan Ismail also agreed, saying that the real-time aspect of Padu can easily identify target groups.

"We will know exactly where these people are and identify who is truly eligible to get help," he said.

However, he added that it was important for all parties, including NGOs and local leaders, to have access to Padu so more help can be extended to the groups in need.

KEB 2024 is held from Thursday to Saturday (Feb 29 to March 2) at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC) and will see the participation of 5,000 stakeholders discussing various issues on how to empower the bumiputra economy.

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