KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 8 — The government will upgrade the e-Kasih system with the use of new technologies to obtain a more accurate data of people in the poor and hardcore poor categories, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced.
The Prime Minister said that RM6.8 million would be allocated to upgrade the database of the e-Kasih system next year.
“I’m aware that the existing (e-Kasih) system is not so effective, and that is why efforts are being made to improve it with the use of new technologies so that we can get a more accurate data. Efforts are also ongoing to have a new mechanism be used for e-Kasih, but not as the old ones.
“I believe that when we do this, detailed information (of people) in every area in the country, urban and rural, can be collected,” he said in reply to Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu (Bersatu-Tambun) during Question Time at the Dewan Rakyat sitting here today.
Ahmad Faizal had wanted to know whether the government will develop a more realistic and reliable system other than the e-Kasih for the purposes of reference and distribution of aid to deserving groups.
At the moment, Muhyiddin said the government was in the midst of collecting data on those who had just fallen under the poor and hardcore poor categories due to the impact of COVID-19 and the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) in the country.
He said a total of 101,385 individuals had claimed the benefit of the unemployment insurance as of Dec 3 and 52 per cent of them were those earning RM2,000 and below.
“Based on the survey on urban poor and people’s wellbeing on 500 families in 16 People Housing Programme (PPR) areas in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur by UNICEF last October, the unemployment rate of adults in the community is relatively high at 35 per cent.
“The poverty rate is also higher than last year with one in every two households is in poverty,” he said.
The Prime Minister said based on the World Bank estimate, the COVID-19 pandemic would also cause 88 million to 115 million people across the globe to fall under the hardcore poor category.
Muhyiddin, who is also Pagoh assemblyman, said the government has been and is still making efforts for economic and social recovery by balancing the economic, social health and wellbeing needs of the people, especially those categorised as poor.
He said various programmes and initiatives were implemented to help the group including through monthly financial aid, Bantuan Prihatin Nasional (BPN) and cost of living aid programmes.
“Until now, the government has always given extra focus on poverty eradication agenda in the National Development Plan. In fae, on Sept 2, we have also set up a Special Cabinet Committee on poverty eradication.
“This committee also discusses matters related to policies and strategies, as well as poverty eradication initiatives, including the roles of ministries and agencies involved to ensure that the poor will continue to receive aid and will not be left out of the social security network,” he said.
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