KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 16– Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today gave sound advice to the urban poor: engage in a business, however small it may be, to generate a better income for a better life.
The prime minister said these people, classified under the B40 group or the bottom 40 per cent of households in terms of income, can then improve their socio-economic status and unshackle themselves from urban poverty.
That’s not all. After that, he said, they need to expand their businesses.
“We notice that certain communities in Malaysia do not know enough to grow their business. They are very static. Once they have enough money to support their daily needs, they do not make any effort to grow their businesses,” he told reporters after launching the Yayasan Sejahtera Community Development Fund at the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2019 Forum, here.
Thus, he said, the government has to educate them on the need to expand and grow their businesses so that they will emerge from poverty.
Dr Mahathir said it is a phenomenon the world over where people migrate from the rural to the urban areas in the hope of finding suitable jobs and a better income.
“That actually reflects rural poverty. Because of it, they come to towns, but they come without proper qualifications and proper prospects.
“If they don’t allow themselves to be trained, then their income will be low. But we can help by giving them training, more opportunities and increase the jobs available so that they will not be urban poor,” he said.
Asked how the Pakatan Harapan government will keep the cost of living low, Dr Mahathir said the government is trying its best to control the prices of goods and hoped for the cooperation of the private sector to keep prices low although they have to make a reasonable profit for themselves.
“The prices of goods, except for certain items, are not fixed by the government. If we fix the prices of all items, then it will be a controlled economy, not a free economy.
‘In a free economy, the private sector has the opportunity to determine prices but if it becomes unreasonable (or) they make excessive profits, then, maybe, the government will step in,” he said.
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