The government is optimistic of achieving its target of zero hardcore poverty by the end of 2025 with new integrated and holistic approaches in implementing pilot projects towards increasing income for the group.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Mustapa Mohamed said this confidence was based on the government’s earnestness in raising strategic cooperation with various parties including universities, NGOs and the private sector in helping the group out of the poverty line.
He said the first phase of the pilot projects in 80 localities were completed this year while the second phase of the projects involving 110 localities would start in the middle of October with the target of helping about 5,000 households.
"(As of Sept 15), there were 130,709 hardcore poor people. We are confident that the number will drop.
"We should have the ambition and ability to make Malaysia a country which has various parties such as state governments and departments which will together assist in achieving the target," he said at a press conference in Jitra yesterday.
He said his department would closely monitor the implementation of the pilot projects so that the income of the target group could be increased in order to lift them out of poverty.
On another matter, Mustapa suggested that tourism operators promote their products more aggressively and creatively to attract more local tourists to spend their holidays domestically, so as to increase the cash flow in the country.
"Currently, Malaysians seem to be more inclined towards visiting other countries, especially neighbouring Thailand.
"This trend poses a challenge for the government and local tourism industry players to be more aggressive in their promotional efforts as a high cash flow to other countries would be a bigger loss for Malaysia," he said.