SARIKEI, June 24 — The Keluarga Malaysia Hardcore Poverty Eradication (BMTKM) programme is giving flexibility to the heads of households (KIR) involved to choose the economic activity they want to help improve their income.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy), Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed however said the KIR involved should have the interest and background in the activity they want to venture into.
He said the emphasis is given to activity which gives the fastest returns and growth apart from technical assistance from BMTKM as the strategic partner.
“On the average, the total aid is RM10,000. For fishermen, RM10,000, barbers and masseurs RM5,000 and caking-making RM10,000. But the expensive one is building a fish pond,” he said.
When met after the Keluarga Malaysia Hardcore Poverty Eradication (BMTKM) programme launching ceremony in Pakan district, Julau today, Mustapa said there is no ceiling limit for the amount of assistance given to KIRs involved in the programme.
“For the fish pond, the cost is more than RM40,000 for one pond and the constraint faced now is fish feed which is sharply increasing,” said Mustapa who feared the KIR would not earn sufficient return to improve their income.
Mustapa said the cost involved for those who already have their own ponds would be much lower and they would be assisted with modifications in the future.
For those in vegetable farming or retailing, there is no problem in getting approval.
The BMTKM programme has finalised the economic activities of the targeted groups in six of the 10 localities in Sarawak including Pakan.
According to the initial plan, the 10 localities in Sarawak involved in the first phase are Gedong; Kampung Seberang Sebuyau, Sebuyau; Kampung Bakong, Lingga; Long Kajang, Belaga; Kampung Spaoh, Betong; Ulu Tinjar, Baram; Pakan; Lawas; Daro and Telang Usan involving 10,000 KIRs.
Mustapa added that so far the figure has only exceeded about 1,000 KIRs.
Based on the statistics of the National Poverty Data Bank (eKasih) as of June 15, there are 44,870 hardcore poor KIR in Sarawak, which is the highest compared with other states.
The objective of BMTKM is to achieve zero hardcore poor at the end of 2025 as set in the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP).