Target to take 13,802 out of poverty by 2010
Poverty eradication programs will help to achieve aim: Pairin
The State Government is confident it can help 13,802 heads of families to overcome abject poverty by 2010 with its poverty eradication programmes. Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan said the 13,802 heads of families were among the 21,514 hardcore poor registered in the State. “Of the total, 4,004 are handicapped while the remaining 3,708 are the elderly and women who will be absorbed into other Ministries or the Welfare Department,” said Pairin who is also the Rural Development Minister. Speaking to reporters after witnessing the Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony on the handing over of the Kampung Bunang Mesej project from the Sabah Land Development Board to his Ministry yesterday, Pairin stressed that the success of the Government’s objective depends on the cooperation of all quarters. “All quarters who are involved in Government’s poverty eradication efforts must play their role effectively and do whatever they can to help the needy,” he said, adding that his Ministry would come up with new approaches to ensure that the Government’s objective is achieved. Meanwhile the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Datuk Ghulam Jailani, said they are waiting for the results of the Government’s review of the income level of the hardcore poor. This is to ensure that the level income for the hardcore poor and the consumer price index are balanced with the escalating costs and current inflation, he said and disclosed that the current level of income that categorizes a person as a hardcore poor is RM540. “We hope the Government will increase the level to RM1,000,” he said and disclosed that the poverty rate in Sabah which was recorded at 24.2 percent in 2004, has reduced to 16 percent this year.