TUARAN: Ten villages in Sabah has been selected for the first phase of the Keluarga Malaysia Hardcore Poor Eradication Programme (BMTKM) that will begin in May. 

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Hajiji Haji Noor believed the programme initiated  by the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) in the Prime Minister’s Department will help to  address the abject poverty issue in Sabah. 

He thanked Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapha  Mohamed for choosing Kampung Penimbawan in Sulaman as among the 10 villages in  Sabah for the first phase of the programme. 

“As the elected representative of the constituency, I am grateful that Penimbawan has  been chosen for this programme,” he said. 

Hajiji who is Sulaman State Assemblyman said Penimbawan, a locality in his  constituency, used to be a water village but he has taken the initiative with help from  Federal to relocate the houses to dry land. 

The Chief Minister said this at the briefing of Kampung Penimbawan BMTKM at the  District Office here today. 

At the briefing Mustapha told Hajiji that 23 hardcore poor household heads (KIRT) have  been selected in Penimbawan. 

Under the BMTKM, each of the KIRT will be given assistance tailored to their preferred  profession. 

In Penimbawan, most of the participants have chosen to continue as fishermen while  some wanted to venture into the Madu Kelulut (stingless bee honey), chicken and duck  rearing as well as a sundry shop operator as their profession. 

According to Mustapha, 20 more villages in Sabah will be selected for the BMTKM under  the second and third phase this year. 

As of April 15, the EPU in the Prime Minister’s Department has listed down 196,640 family  heads in Malaysia to be in the hardcore poor (KIRT) category.

“The highest is Sarawak with 58,611 KIRT followed by Sabah with 31,598, 28,553  (Kelantan) and 15,964 in Kedah.  

“Under the initiative underlined in the Federal 2022 Budget tabled by Prime the Minister,  the government wants to declare Malaysia as a zero-hardcore country by end of 2025,”  he said. 

Mustapha said that the Federal Government aimed to implement the BMTKM in 1,000  localities in the whole country within the next three years. 

The KIRT in the hardcore poor category are those with a total household monthly income  of below RM1,200. 

Besides Penimbawan, the other localities in Sabah chosen for the first phase of the  BMTKM were Kampung Penangah in Tongod; Kampung Bongkol (Pitas); Kampung  Sembirai (Kota Belud); Kampung Tandek (Kota Marudu); Kampung Pelakat (Sipitang);  Kampung Binsulok (Beaufort); Kampung Tetabuan (Beluran); Kampung Kaingaran  (Ranau); and Kampung Lima (Nabawan).  

Also at the briefing were Rural Development Minister Datuk Jahid Jahim and State  Secretary Datuk Seri Panglima Sr Safar Untong.