PM says helping the poor should not be misconstrued as ‘dedak’
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak gave an assurance that the government under his leadership will ensure that every sector of the community enjoys a just and equitable development.
Under this policy, he said, national development would not only be enjoyed by the urban residents but also raised the standard of living of the rural community especially those in the lower income group.
"We adopt a balanced and inclusive policy...and I will not budge from this principle," he said when launching the 24-hour rural electrification project in Pulau Tuba, Langkawi, yesterday.
The project which was personally approved by Najib in 2012 at a cost of about RM45 million involved the supply of electricity using undersea cable from Kuala Perlis and benefiting about 5,000 residents on the island.
"I am the happiest man because what I had pledged to the Pulau Tuba community has been fulfilled," he said.
Najib said the implementation of the electricity supply project using undersea cable to Pulau Tuba originally was not included in the government's annual budget but realising the hardship faced by the community on the island had resulted in its approval.
He said the island's residents who were mostly fishermen would continue to be looked after to ensure that they also enjoyed the development taking place in Langkawi.
"If we have turned Langkawi into a duty-free island, we don't want only the tourists to benefit while the local residents lag behind," he said.
He also refused to entertain a handful of people who considered his efforts to assist the lower-income community all this while as an attempt to bribe the people.
"This is a fair policy. Not fodder (dedak), not bribery...I don't want the fishermen (to continue) being insulted. We want to continue to champion the cause of the fishermen and farmers," he added.
At the event, Najib also announced several development projects for the benefit of the Pulau Tuba residents, who could only be reached from Langkawi by boat in about 20 minutes.
These included projects contributed by Tenaga Nasional Bhd to build a passenger jetty valued at RM650,000 which was expected to be ready in May, rewiring for 32 houses belonging to the poor worth RM60,000 and the installation of 38 street lights.
He also approved an allocation for RM800,000 to repair houses belonging to the poor, besides building a mini stadium in Pulau Tuba in the 2018 Budget.