TUMPAT: The government has been focusing on improving the people’s income since the 5th Malaysia Plan (5MP), said former Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) chairman Daim Zainuddin.
He said among the policies introduced by the government at that time included raising income and curbing inflation to improve the people’s wellbeing.
“Whether we like or not, if comparing the past with the present day, the people are more comfortable now. In the past, there were far fewer roads and bridges compared to today.
“We used to ride bicycles. Now, most of us drive, isn’t that progress?
“The country has definitely developed,” he told reporters after opening a Cooperative Carnival and Feast organised by the cooperative Commission of Malaysian (SKM) at Pantai Geting here today.
Also present were Deputy Economic Affairs Minister Mohd Radzi Md Jidin, SKM executive chairman Nordin Salleh, Kelantan Pakatan Harapan chairman Husam Musa and Jeli MP Mustapa Mohamed.
Daim was commenting on a statement made by the United Nations human rights expert on the rate of poverty in the country.
UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights Philip Alston had said a large portion of the official figures on poverty in the country were not accurate and did not reflect the actual situation.
Alston was quoted as saying the official figures depended on obsolete measures, with the poverty line staying the same for several decades even though the cost of living has increased.
Earlier at the function, Daim said the cooperative movement has been identified as one of the platforms which could help alleviate the rise in the cost of living
As such, he added, SKM should give focus to developing the cooperative movement in the supply chain, especially in wholesaling and retail.
“With more than 14,000 cooperatives and 6.5 million members, the cooperative movement has the collective power to effectively help the people,” Daim said.