KUALA NERANG, April 10 – Local community leaders should convey information about the lives of poor and destitute individuals or families in their respective areas to government agencies so that appropriate assistance can be provided, said the Minister of Rural Development , Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid.
He said village chiefs, penghulu or mosque committee members could help by relaying information to affected neighborhoods as they did not know how to get help.
“What worries me is that the poor don’t know where to turn for help. Since they are poor, nobody cares and nobody notices. Eventually the media found out.
“If the media knows, they can provide us (the government) with the information,” he said when meeting yesterday at the Iftar ceremony with the people of Felcra Padang Terap in Naka, near here.
He said this when asked about Wan Akid Afham Wan Mohd Ruhsemadi, 13, who lived in a dilapidated house with his family in Kampung Banggol, Kota Baru, Kelantan.
The boy’s story has gone viral for the past few days and had caught the attention of various parties including freelance preacher Ebit Lew who went to help the teenager and his family.
Mahdzir said the Ministry of Rural Development (KPLB), through several agencies, had various programs to help the poor, including repairing or building new houses for them.
In Kelantan, he said, the program of repairing or building houses for the poor is implemented by the South Kelantan Development Authority (Kesedar).
“We have the allowance to repair the house, but who can help him get it? Those who can help him are the village chief, penghulu and the district office by forwarding the information to our agency,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mahdzir said Felcra has allocated RM4.3 million to implement various economic and social development programs in its nationwide land projects this year.
“Programs include women’s development, social amenities development, animal husbandry and agriculture, vocational training and spiritual development,” he added. — Bernama