KOTA KINABALU: State Rural Development Ministry will be introducing new poverty-eradication programmes and strengthening existing ones, says minister Datuk Ewon Benedick (pic).
He said that the programmes included a housing programme for the hardcore poor and poor (Program Rumah Sejahtera Rakyat), electricity supply to remote areas not covered by the federal rural electricity supply programme (Program Bekalan Elektrik Luar Bandar Alternatif) and a clean water supply to remote villages not covered by federal rural water supply programme or Sabah Water Department water reticulation system (Program Bekalan Air Luar Bandar Alternatif).
Ewon said this in response to a question by Julita Mojungki (PBS-Matunggong) on any new approaches to eradicate poverty among rural folks during the state assembly sitting on Monday (Nov 18).
Presently, there are several poverty-eradication programmes such as the Mini Estet Sejahtera programme (Mesej), a Community Economic Development programme, Kampung Sejahtera programme and Rural Entrepreneur Programme.
He added that there would be an additional economic activities programme to help Mesej participants to add a source of income, a rural entrepreneur assistance programme and opening up new Mesej areas with food crops.
“We will also have a joint collaboration programme with other ministries where two separate committees will be developed with the state Trade and Industry Ministry and Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister,” said Ewon.
To an additional question by Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan (Star-Tambunan) on the allocation specifications for the new initiatives under the 2020 state budget, Ewon said that the project codes for new programmes for all ministries can only be implemented during the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) starting in 2021.
He added that all the programmes he had listed under his ministry will be conducted under the existing project codes; such as one district one industry (SDSI), rural entrepreneur development, poverty eradication and special projects.
“I therefore call for recommendations from elected representatives on districts and villages where we can implement this new initiatives. The ministry will then determine the suitability of the proposals based on the funding available,” he added.