Mahathir advises urban poor to engage in business

Mahathir Mohamad (Bernama)

Mahathir Mohamad (Bernama)

Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia’s Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has advised the urban poor to engage in a business, however small it may be, to generate a better income for a better life.

These urban poor, classified under the B40 group or the bottom 40 per cent of households in terms of income, can then improve their socio-economic status and unshackle themselves from urban poverty, the prime minister said, Malaysia news agency (Bernama) reported.

Once they launch their business, they need to expand it, he added.

“We notice that certain communities in Malaysia do not know enough to grow their business. They are very static. Once they have enough money to support their daily needs, they do not make any effort to grow their businesses,” he said at the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2019 Forum in the Malaysian capital.

The government has to educate them on the need to expand and grow their businesses so that they will emerge from poverty.

Dr. Mahathir said people migrating from the rural to the urban areas in the hope of finding suitable jobs and a better income is a phenomenon the world over.

“That actually reflects rural poverty. Because of it, they come to towns, but they come without proper qualifications and proper prospects. If they don’t allow themselves to be trained, then their income will be low. But we can help by giving them training, more opportunities and increase the jobs available so that they will not be urban poor,” he said.

The prime minister said the government is trying its best to control the prices of goods and hoped for the cooperation of the private sector to keep prices low although they have to make a reasonable profit for themselves.

“The prices of goods, except for certain items, are not fixed by the government. If we fix the prices of all items, then it will be a controlled economy, not a free economy,” he said, quoted by Bernama.

“In a free economy, the private sector has the opportunity to determine prices but if it becomes unreasonable (or) they make excessive profits, then, may be, the government will step in.”

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