Kota Marudu Member of Parliament

1AZAM particpants looking toward small businesses

KOTA MARUDU: For villagers like 36-year-old Dulin Kasiun, a helping hand from the 1Azam programme goes a long way to make a difference to their lives when they are given opportunities to make a living.

The mother from Kampong Tagaroh here had always wanted to learn how to sew knowing that she could put the skills to use to help supplement her husband’s income. She is also aware of many women who made their living as seamstresses.

However their impoverished situation was not encouraging her towards making this dream come through as they struggled to make ends meet. So when the poverty eradication 1Azam programme (Program Akhiri Zaman Miskin) offered those registered in the e-Kasih data bank free skills courses, she jumped at the chance especially as her husband agreed to look after their son while she attended classes. “Not only did I finish the course but at the end of it, 1AZAM also gave me a brand new edging sewing machine costing about RM3,000.

With the foundation provided by 1Azam, I will set up my business by sewing clothes to supplement our family income. “I am encouraged because even while I was undergoing the course, I already received orders and was able to earn extra money.

I am glad to be given, and to take up, the 1Azam assistance which will improve my family’s lives as I can bring home additional income,” said Dulin. The 1Azam programme is initiated under the National Key Result Areas to eradicate poverty by giving the poor opportunities to independently earn a living. This includes providing them with skills and equipment to kickstart their small businesses. Dulin was among the 46 villagers here who received equipment from 1Azam such as chainsaw, grass cutter, hair dressing equipment, hamburger-making machine and car wash equipment, which were presented by Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water Datuk Seri Penglima Dr. Maximus Ongkili at a ceremony here today. In his speech, Dr Maximus, who is also Kota Marudu MP, reminded the recipients that they were not allowed to sell off the equipment to make a quick buck as the aid was meant for them to earn an income. “Spot checks will be conducted to ensure the equipment are being fully utilised by recipients,” he said.

Dr Maximus also urged the villagers to register with e-Kasih through the district office, as it would enable them to receive aid for the hardcore poor, poor and borderline poor people. He said the programme had proven to be successful in elevating the living standards of the recipients and some had gone on to earn good income for their families. “Thus, I hope more people in Kota Marudu will be made aware of this assistance and register themselves to ensure they also reap the benefits from the government assistance,” he said.

Source - Sayang Sabah