SERDANG: National Recovery Council (MPN) chairman Muhyiddin Yassin has proposed that a one-stop agency be created to collect data on individuals and households who are truly in need of assistance.
He said the agency, to coordinate all forms of assistance, could emulate the Centrelink model implemented in Australia in managing the distribution of aid to eligible recipients.
He also said that an efficient, fast and uniform system of eligibility for aid is needed to ensure there is no duplication of recipients.
“This way, the government’s financial resources can be optimised while ensuring that no one is left behind,” he said in his keynote address at the Perikatan Nasional (PN) Convention 2022 at the Malaysian Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS) here today.
Muhyiddin, who is also PN chairman, said the government spends more than RM70 billion a year in subsidies, adding that the amount is increasing every year. This is not sustainable in the long run.
Therefore, a more targeted distribution system needs to be established to ensure that government subsidies are enjoyed by those who really need them and to prevent leakage, he said.
Muhyiddin added that with targeted subsidies, a uniform aid system and optimal financial management, new forms of aid could be created such as housing rental assistance for the urban poor to ensure that everyone has a place to stay and to address homelessness.
Various forms of aid that are important in ensuring people’s well-being, such as healthcare, education and skills training, especially for young job seekers, must also be given priority, he said.
In the meantime, Muhyiddin suggested that the country immediately switch to high-tech industries, offering higher salaries.
“Even though this effort has begun, the results have not been significant.
“Therefore, a more focused effort is needed, involving various ministries, agencies and industries, to ensure the country’s fast transition to Industrial Revolution 4.0.”
He said the government also needs to improve the competitiveness of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), especially in increasing added value, including through the dominance of automation and digitisation, thus creating more high-income jobs for the people.