Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Hardcore poor even within Kota Kinabalu city limits

Sabah DAP wants the Barisan Nasional state government to come up with a strategy to wipe out poverty in the state.

The opposition party said that it has ample evidence that hardcore poverty is quite prevalent within the city limits where locals are living in shameful conditions.

Jeffreu Kumin, its Welfare and Rural Development Bureau chief, in a statement issued here on Tuesday said that the party had come across numerous instances of hardcore poverty during a 'Cari Orang Miskin' or 'Searching for the Poor' programme it is conducting.

Kumin, who is also the DAP Sepangar branch chairman, said that during one such visit to Kg. Ratau near Tebobon in Menggatal on the city's outskirts, he found five families living opposite a school living in shameful conditions.

“The five families comprise about 50 people they have been staying there for the last seven years without electricity and water supply. They are all KDMs (KadazanDusunMurut),” he said.

"Julita Seriong is a single mother with five school going children. She said that she receives RM300 monthly from the State Welfare Department, but finds it insufficient to make ends meet.

"She claimed that the elected representative for Inanam had visited them once only thus far, and that was to invite them to attend the Harvest Festival celebration.

"Yaintomi Binti Jumibal, a mother of two and a widow wanted to know if she was eligible get welfare aid from the government. She did not know how to apply," Kumin said.

"The Welfare Department should consider reaching out to hardcore poor like Yaintomi who cannot afford to travel all the way to seek help from the department.

“There are also illiterate and ignorant about the existence of such an aid by the government,” added Kumin.

During the said visit, Kumin said he also discovered a 17-year-old girl who did not have birth certificate or MyKad. The girl’s mother had tried to apply for the documents in the last six years but was unsuccessful.

The group of villagers are currently facing eviction and are anxious about their next move.

“This is sad. These are locals living in poverty just 15km from Kota Kinabalu and we are talking about eradication of poverty in 2010,” he asked.

Kumin said the search for the hardcore poor in the state would next move to Tambunan District.

courtesy of FreeMalaysiaToday

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