More funds for foundations to help the poor

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SHAH ALAM: The government is prepared to consider the applications for additional funds from foundations entrusted to help people with low incomes, the prime minister, Najib Razak, said today.

A decision would be made public when the 2017 Budget is tabled in October, he said.

“We will look into it and will try to consider it based on the government’s financial situation,” he said at an appreciation luncheon and fifth anniversary celebrations of the Malaysian Chinese Women Entrepreneurs Foundation today.

He said the government had practised an inclusive policy towards helping people with low incomes, especially households in the bottom 40 per cent of income groups.

Najib said such assistance was provided through cooperation between the government and non-governmental organisations. “Such a cooperation reduces government’s expenditure as we need not appoint officers or staff or even rent an office…we just provide funds to the relevant foundations to manage the loans,” he said.

The women’s foundation, established five years ago with an initial fund of RM30 million, had managed to help 2,300 women become entrepreneurs.

He praised the commitment of the women who had taken loans from MCWEF, as 93 per cent of them managed to repay their loans to the foundation.

He announced that the foundation’s loan limit would be increased to RM30,000, at 4 per cent interest, from the current limit of RM20,000 and an interest rate of 5 per cent.