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Is Penang really free from hardcore poverty?

Our lecturers in the citizen journalism course reminded us to do our homework well. Know our subjects before we approach them for interview. So, I knew that the PR led Penang State Government has issues with the MCA Ng Yen Yen from the Fed Gov. It gets to be a pain when there are all these finger pointings, accusations and challenges between them.

Here we are talking about the hardcore poor, marginalised and voiceless people in Penang. To me, they are like sitting ducks or mascots for politicians to use. (well, not all but most politicians) Yet, up there, they are throwing challenges to each other. For example, back in August 2008, State Umno liaison secretary Datuk Azhar Ibrahim said Lim Guan Eng is only “good at making cheap publicity via various programmes but none have succeeded due to poor planning,” (Bernama)

Then, during the height of the Permatang Pauh by-election, the very TCB Ng Yen Yen visited the hardcore poor in Penang and claimed, “I do this all the time (visiting). This is not for election. Since I am here, I thought I’ll just stop by for a few house visits,” she said after presenting a hamper to the couple. (The Star)

So, these hardcore poor were like pawns in the political game between the DAP led Penang State Government and the MCA controlled Fed. Gov. ministry. Ng Yen Yen holds the funds to disburse to the various states.

Then, recently, Phee Boon Poh claimed that MCA sabotaged the Penang State Government’s efforts in eradicating poverty.

Phee had on Feb 25 claimed that MCA members contracted to work as assistant welfare officers in Penang had cast aside aid forms submitted by hardcore poor applicants.

He said forms with supporting signatures by Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen were ignored, and applicants were told to get signatures of Barisan Nasional representatives instead.

He also claimed that on at least one occasion, the form was torn in the presence of the applicant.

(The Sun)

So, can you see how disgusting these tussles using the poor are? Therefore, when I attend the event held at Dewan Sri Pinang this morning, I only went there half-hearted. However, my coursemates and I wanted to see the response of the state government towards another issue, i.e. the homeless on the streets. I also intended to ‘chase and catch’ the CM’s political secretary the very lansi Ng Wei Aik to interview him. My question was to ask him to comment on the public perceptions that the homeless are not treated with respect and compassion. However, he left early and I missed ‘chasing, cornering and catching him on video’.


(P/S – My video is a bit corrupted after conversion. Sorry for the technical glitches.)

Anyway, I got a short video clip of the event by the CM. He looks mighty fit in the t-shirt. Our CM also go casual because I saw someone offering him a jacket which he declined.

This video is just my trial run video. My two coursemates, Jimmy and Lim had their tripods, remote and external mike for the real recording. Come to think of it, this citizen journalism thingie can be very frightening to the politicians because we are not the regular MSM reporters who are more ‘balanced’. For eg. Jimmy asked the CM where did all the money Ng Yen Yen said she disbursed went to? Power to CJ! YB Phee then explained in detail why they need RM10M for the set up of the shelter home, how they have to beg for places at the welfare homes in Kedah, Perak and Pahang before they can do anything for the homeless here.

In conclusion, do I think Penang is really free of hardcore poverty? Or is it just a statement like producing A results to show the BN government since election fever is running high? Well, I am the #1 fan of the CM so I have no comment, ok? LOL, even my video is biased, ok?




9 Responses to “Is Penang really free from hardcore poverty?”

  1. Poverty is everywhere and cannot be like ‘i don’t want poverty’ and its gone just like that..! It cannot be wiped out within 1 year period..! Wait until 5 years like that, then only can see whether it is reduced or not..(no 100% free from poverty)

    kaDusMama´s last blog post..Monday..oh monday!!

  2. i say bcareful what PKR chooses to set its goals.. to eradicate Poverty in PG?….not in my life time.
    Let’s start havin a proper rehab. program or structured assistance lay down ‘clearly’ in place for these poor folks. Get the private corporations involve!
    pls don waste money building a separate building to house the homeless, this is like institutionalise the homeless ppl and would bring bad air to the surrounding areas, to help them getting back to the society, why can’t the state rent fr existing empty condo/apartment units tht would otherwise dilapidate in front of yr eyes.
    you reading this CM?

    wei, is TCB = Tua Cibxx? hahaha, seriously i don know

    JT´s last blog post..Fish tank update

  3. JT – Actually, these are help from the corporations. In the previous BN gov, if you want project, you give to somewhere somewhere lah. IN this new gomen, if you are a ‘caring corporation’ you give to the funds for the poor which is audited by KMPG. So, the CM said, one can give without doubts because all money will be accounted for.

    Kadusmama & JT – It works like these. (I lazy to explain earlier)
    Survey and identify families who have less than RM500 per family income or RM100 per capita.
    Open a bank account for them.
    The company top up their income up to RM500 or RM100 for those singles monthly. It is being carried out now.
    The negative coments are the state gov will go bankrupt with ‘feeding the poor like that’ but the CM is confident if they are sincere in helping, they will find more help.

    Meanwhile, they will get these hardcore poor (which incidentally are concentrated on UMNO areas) to start herbal farming and spices farming. The state gov has a land and the hardcore poor must sweat for them. CM also said many are very dignified and refused help and will work hard to earn more.

    And yes, TCB means what you said, JT. But if you only read English, we can also change it to The Chinese (find your own B) word.

  4. Right on Lilian..only TC fellas can open their mouths loud and empty.

  5. good idea, not many corporation is tht charitable. Best to create a new business model/concept by starting your own brand and all employees ie the homeless will be the share holders (this will no doubt boost their confidence). I definitely will not hesitate in buying the products even if they are more expensive (knowing full well tht the products are 100% made and produced by these ppl and all profits will be used to take more homeless off the streets.
    this wil ‘kill 2 birds with 1 stone’ and sure solve the ‘feeding the poor’ problem. tht’s the idea…

    JT´s last blog post..Fish tank update

  6. JT – I also wouldn’t mind spending time with some of these families to film what life to them means. What they eat, how they sleep etc. But if only I can get some of my ideas through. It will be great to give us a glimpse of what hardships they go through. I am a big dreamer, I think I can make better videos than TV3! LOL. My coursemate Jimmy made a very touching video with just short clips he picked up. What comes from our hearts leave bigger impact on people.

    Jeff – The full speech which is more informative is with my coursemates. I hope they have the same views as mine but then, none of us have to agree with each other. Still, I think all three of us were quite satisfied with the steps taken so far. We hope to be able to talk to some of these hardcore poverty help recipients and get to know them better.

  7. Giving out cash to sustain the hardcore poor above poverty line (and claiming that the state is zero poverty)is only a short term measure. Teach them to fish is better than give them a fish. Help and guide them to stand on their own to move on with their life as normal citizen. Don’t label them as hardcore poor permanently.

  8. domino – That’s what the CM said, “Kita bukan beri mereka ikan sahaja, kita juga beri mereka jaring.” But there are old couples, really old ones, how to help them to stand on their own lah. The state only tops up their income up to RM500. If let’s say they can sell kueh and earn RM300, the gov. top up to RM500, that kinda thing. It is better than the previous gomen who promised 22 families RM50K of hot air.

  9. Wah! Can’t agree more with you. That’s why I also thought about the homeless and commented in your FB. Maybe that’s why they took them away, so that they can announce this. Sorry, I might be bias. :p

    Suzette´s last blog post..My Car Was Hit!