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FT Ministry to create urban poverty database

05 Dec 2019 / 18:23 H.

PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Territories Ministry will create a poverty database, a specific profile that lists the urban poor in Kuala Lumpur, in an effort to effectively eradicate urban poverty.

Its minister, Khalid Abdul Samad (pix), acknowledged that several master plans had been made for Kuala Lumpur but a proper database had yet to be created.

“It is time for the ministry to do a census to register the poor in Kuala Lumpur. We need to have a specific profile for them since we need to redefine the yardstick for poverty in the city,“ he said.

For example, he said, someone in the B40 category who earns RM4,000 a month may not be considered as urban poor in a different city.

“But if the person is living in Kuala Lumpur and has five children or more to support he may have financial difficulty,“ he said.

“Once we have the right statistics, any effort to eradicate urban poverty can be implemented more effectively,“ he said.

The poverty database is expected to be ready by next June.

Khalid said the term urban poverty, especially in Kuala Lumpur, should also be studied and redefined.

He said the poverty database will be another effort besides the National Poverty Database (e-Kasih) which will continue to collect data on the poor.

“The list of the urban poor in Kuala Lumpur is an initiative of the Federal Territories Ministry in cooperation with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and it aims to get the urban poor which e-Kasih might not consider as urban poor,“ he said.

On a related matter, the ministry will set up a think tank and research institute as another effort to address various issues pertaining to the city including the urban poor and traffic congestion.

“We are thinking of setting up our own think tank and research house like those in Selangor, Malacca and Penang to gather experts and experienced people to contribute their effort in solving major issues faced today like urban poverty and traffic congestion,“ he told a press conference at the Urban Poverty Eradication Seminar here, yesterday.

The seminar organised by the Salam Malaysia Foundation and the Federal Territories Foundation in collaboration with the Federal Territories Ministry focused on identifying the root causes of urban poverty and measures to overcome it.

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