KOTA BHARU, Oct 9 (Bernama): The government will prioritise tackling hardcore poverty in the country in line with the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) which has been passed in Dewan Rakyat on Thursday (Oct 7), says Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed (pic).

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) said the Federal government would draw up a new strategy to eradicate the issue.

He said this was because the percentage of hardcore poor could have gone up following the Covid-19 pandemic.

“In the past, (2019), the hardcore poor rate was 0.4% and the following year it rose to 0.8% after Covid-19. This matter must be given more focus.

“The Federal government should have special officers at district levels to tackle the issue of poverty.

“Most importantly is by having numerous programmes or economic projects which are more effective in helping to raise the standard of living of the people,” he said.

He was speaking to reporters after attending an engagement session with the Kelantan government on 12MP at Kota Darul Naim Complex, here on Saturday (Oct 9).

In another development, Mustapa said 46.8% of the RM39bil allocation for basic development was spent involving the whole country, as of Oct 3.

According to Mustapa, the percentage spent was delayed from the original plan due to various problems such as land ownership issue, contract and others, besides Covid-19.

As such, he said the Federal and state governments would monitor closely every basic development project to ensure the delay was not repeated in future. – Bernama

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