PUTRAJAYA: Poverty can only be beaten by helping the poor boost their income through government initiatives, not by just handing out financial aid, says the Prime Minister.
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said for the poor and low-income earners to have more money, they need to make full use of the programmes that the government have to help them, including business opportunities, training, guidance and skills enhancement.
“We cannot overcome poverty by giving the poor money. This will not make them rich. On the contrary, for as long as they receive aid, they will remain poor, ” he said at the Prime Minister’s Department monthly gathering on Monday (Dec 2).
Dr Mahathir said to assist the poor, the government will identify businesses and enterprises which they can take part in and improve their livelihood.
He said while the government can provide help and guidance, hard work and effort is the key to get out of poverty, adding out that there are those who are successful and have become wealthy.
“Effort is the way to overcome poverty, not by the government giving out BR1M or other cash incentives, ” he reiterated.
The Prime Minister said that Malaysia could not attain development as such as Japan, South Korea and China due to disparity in wealth and success among the races, adding that is why the government has come up with the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 to ensure that all can enjoy the country’s wealth.
“This vision is important because we will be taking on efforts to narrow the gap between the rich and the poor.
“The government will be working on this but what is important is that the poor must adopt the initiatives that we will introduce to help them, ” he said.
Civil servants also play an important role in poverty eradication, said Dr Mahathir, calling on them to guide and give advice to those who want to improve their livelihood and earn better income.
The Prime Minister said if Malaysia can overcome the issue of poverty, it can then enjoy greater development.
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