Wed, 17 Jul 2024


Not a poverty timeframe: Masidi
Published on: Wednesday, June 12, 2024
By: Jonathan Nicholas
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Not a poverty timeframe: Masidi
Masidi (third left) and Azam Baki (second left) with others showing the anti-corruption MoU signed between SESB and MACC.
Kota Kinabalu: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s July deadline to eradicate poverty in Sabah is an encouragement for the State Government but not necessarily a timeline.

Sabah Finance Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said the State has always been committed to ensure the poverty line diminishes.

“This has been the agenda during our weekly Cabinet meetings. Many formulated strategies have taken effect and many more will be rolled out.

“We don’t just pick a timeline to end poverty in Sabah. The matter of us resolving it by then is not important.

“On the contrary, the challenge is to work hard and find sustainable ways to put an end to poverty once and for all,” he said.

Making the announcement during Kaamatan, Anwar was confident Sabah could eradicate hardcore poverty in which the number of hardcore poor heads of households has dropped from 20,000 to 9,000.

Masidi said the deadline set by Anwar should not be seen as a timeframe but should be perceived as an instruction to work hard to end the poverty issue in Sabah and to take the problem seriously.

“Eradicating poverty is one of Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor’s goals. Personally, I think the given timeline is just Anwar’s urgency for government top guns to take the issue seriously,” he said.

Masidi said this when met after witnessing Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd’s (SESB) anti-corruption pledge ceremony together with Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Chief Commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki and SESB Chairman Datuk Seri Madius Tangau at the Sabah International Convention Centre.

Azam said MACC will be closing in on port states in joint operations with the Royal Malaysian Customs to avoid tax leakages.

“A recent case in Klang uncovered falsified declarations of wheelchairs. When the container was opened, electronics and even pork were found inside.

“This modus operandi happens everywhere. The MACC will be employing the element of surprise and the perpetrators will get it,” he said.

Sabah’s Royal Malaysian Customs have made a series of successful contraband busts amounting to millions of ringgit.

However, not one suspect has been apprehended besides the odd storekeeper. 

Meanwhile, he said Sabah’s current water operations are clean compared to the 2017 where the MACC received numerous complaints from the rakyat saying they never felt the Sabah Water Department allocations trickle down.

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