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Musa blames e-kasih system for poverty rise

 | July 14, 2011

Despite federal figures on poverty, Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman is insisting there is no hardcore poor in state.

KOTA KINABALU: An embarrassed Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman has blamed the federal government initiated e-kasih system for the rise in the number of hardcore poor in Sabah.

Musa said the number of hardcore poor had risen since the end of last year.

The shocking disclosure comes barely six months after Musa had proudly declared that the government had eradicated poverty in the state.

The current figures for poverty levels stand at 4,146 hardcore poor families and 28,517 poor households.

The revelation comes as a kick-in-the-teeth for the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition government.

Musa, however, has blamed the huge number of poverty stricken families in the state on a new ‘open e-kasih system’ of counting.

He told a meeting of the Steering Committee on Poverty Eradication here yesterday that the open e-kasih system which registers hardcore poor at district levels as the cause for the spurt in poverty levels in the state.

Despite the figures, Musa is however still insisting that hardcore poverty in Sabah was eradicated by the end of last year.

He said his government had used the 1Azam Temporary Allowance programme to achieve this.

The e-kasih system was established in 2007 as a national database on poor families to enable charitable agencies to choose those who are eligible under the poverty eradication programme.

Insurance scheme

Musa also said that a newly introduced federal government insurance scheme were among the many ways the government was ensuring that families didn’t fall deeper into poverty.

He said a life insurance scheme had been provided for some 32,412 poor families in Sabah.

The insurance programme, implemented through the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry, provides life insurance coverage of between RM5,000 and RM20,000 to members of poor families depending on the circumstances of death.

Under the scheme the next-of-kin of household heads who died under normal circumstances would be paid RM10,000.

If the insured person’s wife or child was killed in an accident, the payment would be RM20,000, RM10,000 and RM5,000 respectively.

More federal funds

Meanwhile, Musa also disclosed that 96 hardcore poor families in the east coast district of Tawau had moved to new homes in a plantation in Kalabakan up to June.

As PPRT plantation workers, they will receive wages as well as dividends of RM400 a month which will be paid quarterly.

Musa also said that the state government has been allocated an additional RM50 million to build houses for the poor apart from the RM103 million already allocated for the purpose that falls under the Housing Assistance Programme.

The state government has also allocated RM1 million to the Sabah Fisheries Department for the construction of 40 ponds for freshwater fish breeding in Kg Kiandut, Pitas, one of the poorest areas in the state and another RM1 million for 44 ponds in Kg Sarap Siampak in Menumbok.

A total of 88 houses would also be built in the two kampungs for the poor.


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