‘Cash handouts won’t eradicate poverty, education will’

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PETALING JAYA: The government’s method of dishing out cash aid such as BR1M (1Malaysia People’s Aid) can never eradicate poverty, especially in Sabah, said Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) president Shafie Apdal.

He said this is why his new political party will emphasise on education instead if it succeeded in its plan to take over the Sabah government from BN.

“You can never eradicate poverty by giving handouts. Even if you donate every day, the person donating it will go bankrupt.

“We provide education to our people; that is how you get rid of poverty,” Shafie said at a ceramah in Pensiangan, Sabah, yesterday.

He said once the opposition forms the federal government, he will prove that with education, handouts can be phased out.

“Let’s say every household has five people. If two children (from that household) get proper education, trust me, BR1M won’t be necessary.”

The former rural and regional development minister also said Sabahans need not fear about instability if the opposition takes over.

This is despite claims by some quarters, he added, that the country will be in a worse state if the opposition is at the helm.

He claimed the opposition-held states of Selangor and Penang were faring much better than the states under BN’s control.

“BN says GST (goods and services tax) is good for the country, that the country can’t survive without it.

“But it has been troubling the people. The poor, the rich, the old, and even the young are taxed under GST.

“So we must make a change. If the opposition takes over the government, we will demand that GST be abolished.

“Sabah is rich but the people of Sabah are poor. That’s the problem.

“We elected the leaders to help the people, not to enrich themselves and trouble us,” said the Semporna MP.

Shafie also promised more jobs for Sabahans, saying he planned to build cooking oil factories in the state if his party is elected to the state government.

He said it didn’t even take much money to open and operate one, claiming that he had visited a cooking oil factory in Shah Alam, Selangor, with 40 employees.

“It only cost RM5 million. I asked where they got the palm oil (to produce the cooking oil) and they said Sabah.

“So our people have travelled far for jobs when the resources come from here. We have to restructure the whole system.”