PETALING JAYA: A soft loan fund of RM200 million is being set up to help more Bumiputeras in Penang to own property, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said today.
He said the fund will also be used to drive the development of waqf land.
“For a start, the fund will be used to develop a housing project on waqf land in Permatang Pauh,” he said at an event with civil servants in Permatang Pauh, his hometown.
Anwar also announced that the Penang Bumiputera development council (PBDC) will be reactivated to improve the socioeconomic condition and human capital of Bumiputeras in Penang, Bernama reported.
It will be headed by Khalid Ramli, former director-general of the implementation coordination unit of the Prime Minister’s Department.
“I want some projects, business opportunities, housing opportunities at this lower level, to be given priority and in cooperation with the state government to accelerate the development of the Penang Malay community,” Anwar said.
“But as I emphasised it must be in line with the priorities of the state government, so that if we say that some of the projects are for B40 then they must give opportunities to the Malay, Chinese and Indian communities,” he said.
The PBDC is a platform for members to consider proposals for the implementation of programmes and projects specifically for Bumiputeras in the state in order to expand and improve the level of achievement of the Penang Bumiputera community.
On Khalid’s appointment as the council’s chairman, Anwar took note of Khalid’s expertise and experience in having served more than 35 years in public service, during which he had also held the positions of state financial officer and director of the Penang Bumiputera participation coordination division.
He said the federal government had also approved an additional allocation of RM10 million to enable 1,000 tahfiz students to get skills training and technical and vocational certification.
It was part of an effort to produce more Bumiputeras skilled in various technical fields. He said the programme strives to produce Bumiputera Muslim children who are holistic and complete with religious knowledge and technical skills.
“Penang has many maahad tahfiz and there is a need for tahfiz students to be given exposure training so that their job opportunities are not stunted.
Anwar said, with the allocation of RM10 million, tahfiz operators can design a programme with private companies to provide technical and vocational training to guarantee the best job opportunities for tahfiz students.