Selangor Journal: Time to address socioeconomic gap, says MB

SHAH ALAM, Sept 20 — The state government is working to address the challenges of the urban poor to ensure that no group is left behind in times of economic development and prosperity.

Selangor Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Amirudin Shari said the economic vibrancy in cities creates a gap between the rich and the poor, and even in Selangor, it is no exception.

“In the past, poverty was often associated with rural life, but in more recent times, maybe around 10 years ago, urban poverty started becoming an issue in the country.

“Progress definitely brings economic overflow, but it creates a gap between the rich and poor, and what’s more difficult is how we are going to address it,” he said.

Amirudin was speaking at the opening of the Selangor Unity and Integration Council (MPIS) Unity Conference that was held virtually last night.

He said the differences that exist today are not from the colour of our skin or our race and religion but from how much we earn to make a living.

“It can be said that Selangor is 90 per cent urban, so how do we avoid the huge economic difference, the gap between the rich and the poor?” he asked.

In the question and answer session later, Amirudin said the state has given out aid packages to the people not because of wanting to gain political mileage, but that it has been a necessity.

“In 2008, we outlined an important policy to channel out aid irrespective of the political ideology of the receivers. This was implemented through the ‘Inisiatif Peduli Rakyat’ which started with eight programmes and now has 34.

“We coordinate and run the aid programmes ourselves, with the assistance channelled directly to the people and not through any political party,” he added.

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