Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the unity government wants to completely eradicate hardcore poor in the country which he described as disgraceful for a country which is rich in resources such as oil and gas.
The prime minister said among the states that still recorded high levels of hardcore poverty are Sabah, Sarawak, Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah.
“Without exception, we will make sure that this problem of hardcore poverty will be dealt with properly and in Kedah through the Madani unity government’s programmes to reduce the number of hardcore poor in the entire state of Kedah.
“I have asked the entire machinery of the federal government, the machinery of the state government and the machinery of the municipal councils to help in this direction because it is humiliating for a country that has enormous resources such as oil and gas, palm oil and various industries (but) cannot solve the basic problem of hardcore poverty in our country,” he said.
He said this when speaking to thank the Sultan of Kedah Al-Aminul Karim Sultan Sallehuddin Sultan Badlishah for gracing the Malaysia Madani Open House in Alor Setar today.
Meanwhile, Anwar said Kedah is a state that is given focus by the federal government with more expenditure allocation amounting to RM1.6 billion for this year compared to the previous year.
He said the amount does not include several other measures such as aid for poor schools and clinics as well as several water supply projects in several districts in Kedah.
“Recently when I went to China there was a proposal to expand investment in Kulim Hi-Tech Park and for the information of the people, I assured our full cooperation to speed up the process.
“God willing, with the cooperation of the state government and local authorities, this will be able to drive more meaningful growth in the state of Kedah Darul Aman,” he said.
Besides, the Prime Minister said that there are several other applications for Kedah which will be considered and stressed that the government will continue to protect the fate of the people including in the states that are not together in the unity government.
Anwar said the government through the recently presented Madani Budget, has also increased assistance for rice farmers which is the highest recorded compared to the allocation in the previous year.
He said the allocations announced in the budget showed that the country has the ability to ensure that all parties agree to manage the country’s economy and bring investments and expenditures focused on the interests of the people.
“That is why the issue in focus in the country is the issue of government management and governance. Malaysia and I believe that Kedah can be raised as a prosperous country, a successful country, an excellent country, a Madani nation, if only we can manage the country well, rejecting the practice and scourge of corruption as well as abuse of power and using all the power of the machinery to protect the welfare of the people and the harmony of all races,” he said.
Commenting on today’s open house celebration, Anwar said it was the first time a large-scale event was held with the people, attended not only by ministers but also by many ambassadors and high commissioners, most of whom were outside of Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur.
“This event is for the people to be together with the leadership and to express the appreciation of the unity government to the people and to strengthen ties between us regardless of race, party (politics) or religion.
“This is the strength of the Malaysian society, for us to continue to grow as a Madani country which can be catalysed through several programmes and to also drive meaningful growth with the solidarity of the people,” he said.
The presence of Sultan Sallehuddin at the occasion also enlivens the celebration.
The function was also attended by two Deputy Prime Ministers, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor, Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, Minister of Communications and Digital Fahmi Fadzil as well as other ministers.