TONTON ASTRO AWANI

PENGUNJUNG SETIA

24 Ogos 2010

HARDCORE POOR NO MORE

Tuesday August 24, 2010

By HAMDAN RAJA ABDULLAH
newsdesk@thestar.com.my

TANGKAK: Johor is likely to achieve its target of zero hardcore poor by the end of this year said Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman.

Speaking to residents in Kampung Simpang Lima near here, he said at present there are only about 50 families under the hardcore poor bracket.

He said the state managed to reduce the number from nearly 3,000 families three years ago to about 50 recently and the figures are expected to hit the zero mark soon.

“The government has not stopped helping poor people as it aimed to have zero hardcore mark by the end of this year.

Doing her bit: Datin Paduka Prof Jamilah Ariffin presenting Ramadan aid to one of 40 single mothers in Ledang at Masjid Kampung Simpang Lima Pekan recently.

“We instructed district officers, village heads, political party leaders and all departments to identify the group before we can help them,” he said before presenting Ramadan aid to some 800 underprivileged people in Ledang here recently.

Abdul Ghani said the government regarded families earning below RM440 per month as hardcore poor while those with income below RM700 are indentified as the normal poor.

He said these groups of people including the Chinese, Indians and Orang Asli, have the rights to receive government aid to improve their livelihoods.

He said besides the rural poor, there were also poor people who lived in the towns and the government had allocations to assist them to ease their financial burden.

In conjunction with Ramadan, the Mentri Besar said the Ledang Umno division decided to allocate cash and food aid to about 473 poor people, 336 orphan children and 40 single mothers.

Earlier, Abdul Ghani joined Muslim residents, including Umno branch leaders in the division, in a Quran recital session and performing tahlil prayers.

He said the state planned to place qualified Quran teachers at all districts to teach Muslim children not only reading the Quran, but to know its contents.

The Johor government, he added, would select the teachers and plans were also underway to call home those Johor citizens who mastered the Quran but lived outside the states.

“We want to promote greater understanding of the Quran and its contents among the Muslim children as we know good values will produce good and faithful generaltion,” he added.

Besides Abdul Ghani, the Mentri Besar’s wife Datin Paduka Prof Jamilah Ariffin also took the opportunity to present cash and food hampers to single mothers in the division.

SOURCE: THE STAR, AUGUST 24, 2010

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