KOTA BHARU, July 23 — The government will continue to pay attention to overcoming the poverty rate in Kelantan through various initiatives including an allocation of RM124 million for the 590,000 Malaysian Family Assistance (BKM) recipients in the state, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
In addition, he said, to ensure that the economy in Kelantan is fully mobilised, Tok Bali is targeted to become a new growth centre in contributing towards reaching an investment target of RM2.3 billion and is expected to generate 4,200 new jobs and 270 entrepreneurial opportunities.
“Tok Bali is targeted to become a new growth centre through special tax incentives and high-impact projects implemented by the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC), namely the Tok Bali Industrial Park (TBIP), Tok Bali Integrated Fisheries Park (TBIFP) and external infrastructure for the Tok Bali port,” he said.
He said this when launching the Kelantan Malaysian Family Aspirations (AKM) Tour, at the Sultan Muhammad IV Stadium, here today.
Ismail Sabri said the government will also build a multi-purpose digital complex with a sports entertainment concept, involving a cost of RM6 million, at a 23-hectare site in Ketereh.
Meanwhile, according to the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Rural Development (KPLB) has allocated RM2.6 billion for 88 projects in Kelantan, 64 of them extension projects and 24 new projects.
“The Central Spine Road (CSR) package of 191 kilometres (km) costing of RM7.7 billion, connecting Gua Musang and Kuala Krai, is expected to be completed in 2026 and will facilitate people’s travel and improve the socio-economic status of the local population,” he said.
Ismail Sabri said Kelantan will also benefit from the East Coast Rail Link Project (ECRL) which will connect Kota Bharu to Port Klang as well as have two stations which are the passenger and cargo station in Pasir Puteh and the passenger station in Tunjong, Kota Bharu.
Meantime, the Sultan Ismail Petra Airport (LTSIP) upgrading project which is expected to be completed in 2025 will be able to accommodate passenger capacity from 1.5 million to four million per year, while the construction of the Palekbang Bridge in Tumpat, scheduled to be completed in 2025, will be a catalyst for new development in the state.
“As for the health sector, a total of 12 construction projects for health clinics and staff quarters are expected to be completed this year, while two more hospital projects under construction, in Gua Musang and the Bachok, encompassing 76 beds, are expected to be completed next year,” Ismail Sabri said.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister said the government always listens to the grievances of Keluarga Malaysia (the Malaysian Family) about the increase in the prices of goods, especially food, and that to address this, is spending RM1.1 billion on chicken and egg subsidies and RM4 billion for packet cooking oil.
He said despite the global economic uncertainty and geopolitical crisis as well as world climate change that has had an impact on the cost of living for Malaysian families, the government is making continuous efforts to address the issue and is providing subsidies amounting to RM77 billion to keep the country at the lowest inflation rate in Southeast Asia.
“The government has also provided additional cash assistance of up to RM500 to the B40 (lower income) group and some of the M40 (middle income) group through Bantuan Keluarga Malaysia (BKM). BKM is the highest cash assistance in the country’s history, with an allocation of RM8.2 billion,” he said.
In the meantime, Ismail Sabri said to eliminate hardcore poverty by 2025, the government through the Prime Minister’s Department’s Economic Planning Unit is coordinating the Malaysian Family Hardcore Poverty Eradication Programme (BMTKM).