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4 September 2009

PRIME MINISTER LAUNCHES SEJAHTERA PILOT PROJECT AND PINTAR NATIONAL PROGRAMME

Maran, 4 Sept 2009 – Prime Minister YAB Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Haji Abdul Razak today launched the pilot project of the poverty-alleviation scheme, the Sejahtera programme and the national-level school-adoption plan, the PINTAR programme, here.

Sejahtera, a programme under the auspices of The Putrajaya Committee on GLC High Performance (“PCG”), was created to introduce a sustainable approach to alleviate hardcore poverty and as part of the Government’s holistic effort to eradicate the malaise in the country by 2010.

Sejahtera was designed to empower the country’s vulnerable groups including hardcore poor, single mothers and the elderly to yield a more sustainable source of income and effectively improve their livelihood through the newly acquired skills that will be provided to them through the programme, with the help of participating Government-Linked Investment Companies (“GLICs”) and Government-Linked Companies (“GLCs”).

The national-level PINTAR programme is a continuation of the school-adoption programme that started in December 2006, also under the ambit of the PCG. It will introduce a new integrated approach towards the implementation of programmes under it, nation-wide.

Since its introduction, the PINTAR programme has achieved tremendous results. To date, a total of 24 corporations – out of which 22 are GLCs – have adopted 165 primary and secondary schools nationwide under this programme, involving more than 66,000 students. In a short time, the initiative has shown potentials in achieving its ultimate objective of improving the students’ academic achievements. In 2007, for example, 12.7% of students in 34 PINTAR schools received As in all five subjects in the UPSR examination as compared to the 9.7% national average.

Present at the launchings at Kampung Telok Melati, Chenor, here, were Pahang Menteri Besar, YAB Dato’ Sri Adnan Yaakob; Khazanah Nasional Berhad’s (“Khazanah”) Managing Director, Tan Sri Dato’ Azman Hj Mokhtar; Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Yayasan Sejahtera, YB Dato’ Shahrir Samad; and Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Yayasan PINTAR, Tan Sri Dato’ Arshad Ayob.

Yayasan PINTAR and Yayasan Sejahtera were established in 5 August 2008 and 7 August 2009, respectively, to administer and implement the programmes and to ensure the strategic direction and sustainability of both initiatives remain intact.

For the Sejahtera pilot project in Maran, 11 GLICs and GLCs have thus far contributed a total of RM1.2 million in cash and value including for the rebuilding of dilapidated houses, creating sustainable livelihoods, training and providing basic amnesties. Maran was chosen as the location for the launch of the Sejahtera pilot project and PINTAR national level roll-out as the district had one of the highest concentrations of hardcore poor in Pahang.

The GLICs that have contributed are Khazanah, Lembaga Tabung Haji and Permodalan Nasional Bhd, while participating GLCs are Chemical Company of Malaysia Bhd, Malayan Banking Bhd, Malaysian Airline System Bhd, Proton Holdings Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Telekom Malaysia Bhd, Sime Darby Bhd and UEM Group Bhd.

The Sejahtera programme is scheduled to be expanded to Besut, Terengganu, and subsequently nationwide. Locations for the roll-out of the Sejahtera programme have been identified by PCG based on an existing objective framework. To date, approximately RM3 million has been collected from the participating GLICs and GLCs for the programme. PCG has targeted to raise more than RM40 million to roll-out the Sejahtera programme nationwide, benefiting more than 1,000 households.

In his speech, Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib thanked all participating GLICs and GLCs for their support for the Sejahtera programme and hoped that it will help lessen the burden faced by vulnerable communities and subsequently improve their standard of living.

Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib said, between 2004 and 2008, the 20 largest GLCs (“G-20”) had spent about RM312 million in aggregate for community-based contributions, including for poverty reduction efforts and social welfare.

Meanwhile, Tan Sri Dato’ Azman said, the successful experience with PINTAR reaching some 66,000 students from underprivileged background has encouraged the PCG to come out with the Sejahtera programme as education is the passport to break out of the vicious cycle of the poverty trap. The PINTAR and Sejahtera programme are therefore closely interrelated in the integrated scheme of poverty alleviation, added Tan Sri Dato’ Azman.

He said: “It is critical to ensure the effort of helping the poor free themselves from poverty is complemented with efforts to improve the education of the younger generation.” As such, the PINTAR Programme will support the education needs of the beneficiaries under Sejahtera.

“Providing wider access to education is one of the largest step towards achieving a long term solution to poverty,” said Tan Sri Dato’ Azman.

PINTAR activities at the participating schools started since January 2007, whereby GLCs have been participating actively by implementing various programmes such as remedial and tuition classes, nutrition programmes, motivation courses, counseling clinics and skill building workshops.

PINTAR programme redefines school adoption schemes in the country, in line with the Government’s call under the Ninth Malaysia Plan on public-private partnership for sustainable development. Its core components constitutes Motivation and Teambuilding Programmes; Educational Support Programmes; Capacity and Capability Building; and Reducing Vulnerabilities and Societal Issues. These programmes are carried out in partnership with civil society and non-governmental organisations (“NGOs”), working closely with the community and school administrators.

Both the PINTAR and Sejahtera programmes are aligned to three of the six National Key Result Areas (KRAs) announced by the YAB Prime Minister recently. These KRAs are – widening access to quality and affordable education, which is related to the PINTAR programme; and, raising the living standard of the low-income people as well as upgrading infrastructure in the rural and interior regions, which are both related to Sejahtera.

End



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