PUTRAJAYA, Dec 2 -- The strategies outlined by the government in the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 and efforts to increase the people's income will help the poor to come out of poverty, said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
He said these strategies are crafted to bridge the gap between the haves and have-nots and the races.
Through these efforts and government assistance in the form of loans and training related to business, Dr Mahathir said he is confident that the poor would be able to raise their income.
"Those who are poor should embrace the government's suggestions to help them pull out of poverty. Their lives can improve, their income increase when they endeavour to help themselves.
"If their problems cannot be overcome with only one source of livelihood, then we need to find alternative sources of income for them,” he said when addressing the monthly assembly of the Prime Minister's Department staff here today.
Dr Mahathir also urged civil servants to provide information and guidance to the poor so that they can escape from the clutches of poverty.
"If they are able to overcome their situation, then our country can develop at an accelerated pace and maybe we can also join the club of advanced nations in the east like Japan, South Korea and China.
"Things won't just fall on our laps, everything requires effort on our part. Therefore, change the way we overcome our problems, specifically related to poverty,” he reminded civil servants.
Dr Mahathir said that even though there are enterprises and giant companies that gave job opportunities to the destitute, they would not be able to give enough jobs to go around.
He cited the "tudung” (Islamic headscarf for women) industry as an example of a successful venture which produced millionaires, as well as bottled-food which have become branded labels.
"This is the way to overcome poverty. If they themselves make an effort, with government assistance like loans for working capital, training related to the business and the like, I am confident that those who are poor can raise their income,” he added.
The Prime Minister also shared his experience during his working visit to South Korea last week on the difference in progress between Malaysia and the Asian economic giant.
Dr Mahathir said at one time, South Korea was behind Malaysia in terms of development and learnt from Malaysia, but now they were a developed country,
He noted that South Korea's per capita income now was US$36,000 whereas Malaysia's only US$10,000.
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