Masidi says that the priority is to reduce hardcore poverty and not meet deadlines

KOTA KINABALU – Sabah prioritises efforts to reduce the number hardcore poor families instead of scrambling to meet July deadline to end hardcore Poverty in the state.

The State Finance Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun stated that the hard-core poverty eradication initiative was among the main topics of discussion at the weekly state Cabinet meeting before as the state maps out its strategy and methods to this end.

He said, however, the state views the timeline given by the prime minister as motivation to work harder to reduce poverty, and not a deadline.

Masidi, who was present at an anti-corruption activity involving Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd on Monday (10 June), said: “We didn’t choose the timeline but it is for us a challenge to become more diligent.”

“I understand that the prime minister wants all government agencies to do more to eradicate poverty.

“To me, the timeline represents a sense that the PM wants all government heads to take this issue seriously.

He added, “The question whether we meet the target is not as crucial as the effort that needs to be doubled in order to achieve our ultimate goal, which is to completely wipe out the hardcore poverty.”

Masidi stated that the state would focus more on sustainable methods to combat extreme poverty in future.

He said that a number of strategies and techniques have been introduced and will continue to be implemented in order to reduce the number of people living under the extreme poverty level.

In his address at the Kaamatan Festival last month, Prime minister Datuk Seri Ibrahim set the deadline of the end July to end the hard-core poverty in Sabah.

Anwar said that he is confident the problem can be resolved, as the number in Sabah of the heads of households who fall into the category of the extreme poor has dropped from 20,000 to just 9,000.

Masidi then stated that Sabah’s official poverty figures may not be as high because they include the dead.

He added that the Sabah government must examine the data to find out the real situation.

He said that the figures still include about 4,000 deaths.

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