KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Thursday launched the Amanah Saham Wawasan 2020-Bandar (ASW-2020-Bandar) scheme with an allocation of RM100 million to help the hardcore poor and urban poor to earn extra income from the annual dividends and other returns derived from their investment.(help the hardcore poor and there'd always be those hardcore poor...it is very vague - the allocation i.e)
Each household, irrespective of race, registered with e-Kasih, is entitled to receive a principal investment sum of RM10,000, which is kept by the government. (Okay, this is interesting. Given that most of the hardcore poor - those made publicised by the television especially, they are those who are not smart enough to go and get themselves some form of help, they are those rural area who don't know how and where to get such help. Why not the head of the villages be made do some work and register them, rather than taking monthly allowances out of nothing)
In his launching speech, Najib said it was hoped that the investment sum given by Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) could increase the income of these target groups who needed help from the government to improve their lot. (Is it true that the government has got not enough fund for next GE? and now in fact?)
"This share scheme is different from other schemes in that the participants will receive dividends and other returns annually throughout their lives.
"However, when they die, the units will be given to others in need," he added when launching the trust fund in Taman Tasik Titiwangsa, here.
Also present were Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, PNB chairman Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid and PNB president and chief executive Tan Sri Hamad Kama Piah Che Othman.
A total of 4,976 households registered under Phase 1 and 2 of the e-Kasih programme have been identified to be eligible to receive the investment, including 196 families in the Federal Territories who each received their trust fund investment booklet at the launching ceremony.
Najib said the government had identified the hardcore and urban poor groups through the e-Kasih registration coordinated by the Implementation Coordination Unit of the Prime Minister's Department.
Under e-Kasih, families with a monthly household income of less than RM430 in Peninsular Malaysia, RM540 in Sabah and RM520 in Sarawak are defined as hardcore poor and the poor, as earning less than RM720 in the peninsula, RM960 in Sabah and RM830 in Sarawak.
Up to June 16 this year, 8,439 hardcore poor and urban poor households had registered with e-Kasih. (....and still there are those left out which need Tv3 and other tv help)
Najib said the government aimed to achieve the target of zero hardcore poor and reduce the number of poor households from 5.7 per cent to 2.8 per cent by the end of 2010. (I have read about this zero hardcore since like.....10 years ago? If there are still hardcore poor 10 years from now on, there must be something wrong with the scheme, or distribution, or perhaps the laziness of the person himself......?!)
He said the agenda to reduce the number of hardcore poor had shown positive developments when their number registered under Phase 1 and 2 of e-Kasih dropped from 50,931 to 33,417.
"The number could be reduced because the government does not act like a welfare state, put instead gives assistance to the hardcore poor and organises programmes for the poor to get out of poverty.
Najib said the government would earnestly work at meeting the targets, but at the same time would not neglect the other groups who also wanted to benefit from the country's economic growth.