PEKAN, April 15 — Malaysia is recognised as the most successful nation in helping the poor and low-income group through the various policies carried out by the government from before until now.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the policies were consistently implemented since the administration of second prime minister the late Tun Razak Hussein, who was his father, with the creation of the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda).
He said this was followed by the setting up of various agencies such as Felcra, Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA), Tekun Nasional (Tekun), and Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM) in 1987 which were among the channels for these groups to change their style of living.
“As a government, I uphold the principles and philosophy which represented the continuity of my father’s struggles which mooted the New Economic Policy as the prime mover for rural development.
“In his struggles, among those that drew much attention was how to change and assist the villagers and the poor. This cannot be denied when the position of the poor, particularly those in the rural areas, began to change.
“As his son, I certainly want to see that the platform that had been initiated continue until today till all that my late father had dreamed of and became his inspiration and ambition became a reality,” he said.
He said this when officiating the Assembly of the Usahawan Amanah Ikhtiar (AIM) Malaysia at the Pekan parliamentary constituency level, here today.
The event was also attended by Pekan Umno division deputy head, Datuk Seri Abu Bakar Harun and AIM executive chairman Datuk Zubir Harun.
He said that as a result of the aid and credit provided by AIM since its formation, a total of 726,891 borrowers had received the benefits involving a total credit of RM19.2 billion.
“The national poverty rate had in terms of absolute figure dropped to zero while the relative poverty rate dropped 3.8 per cent in 2009 to 0.4 per cent in 2016.”
“Meanwhile, the rate of monthly household income for the group B40 category had risen from RM1,400 to RM2,848 during the corresponding period.
“The credit provided is likened to a baby who is just learning to walk, then actually walking and running, similarly we have the basic loan as provided by AIM, then by MARA, Tekun and SME Bank to expand the business.
“Imagine if there is no such assistance, how do they want to start a business, they will probably become victims of illegal lenders (ceti haram),” he said.
He said there had been many examples of the successes of AIM entrepreneurs nationwide including a housewife who started as a chicken seller but now but had become a successful entrepreneur owning numerous assets.
“She succeeded because of the assistance provided by AIM, this is an example that can be used as an inspiration for Sahabat AIM to succeed and raise their standard of living,” he said.
Meanwhile, at the function, Najib also announced an additional special allocation to AIM amounting to RM100 million this year to raise the limit of financing for the I-Sejahtera loan from RM10,000 to RM15,000.
At the same time, the loan limit for I-Wibawa was also increased from RM5,000 toRM15,000. — Bernama