Monday, August 24, 2009

Speech by Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun on Launching of "FoodBank for the Poor"

@ Grace Community Service Centre on 23rd Aug 2009




(photos : CFL)

I am honoured to be invited to stand before you on this auspicious occasion to launch the Food Bank for the Poor (FBP), a collection and distribution centre of food items channelled to the poor.
This programme is a testimony of the Grace Community Services’ sincere effort in looking after the welfare of the poor and needy. I hope they will continue with this noble service. They have been doing this for 30 years now, providing meals across the nation through the Food Bank for the Poor. And I want to thank you all – volunteers and all among you who support Grace Community Services in this project.

The Food bank for the Poor aims to channel the source of food supply and to reach the people who need food in order for them to move on with their daily lives. We hope more poor people will benefit from this project. There is enough food for everyone in this world, if only we care to share. No one should suffer because they are poor.

In tandem with the objective of creating a caring society, the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development through the Department of Social Welfare has provided various types of financial schemes to the poor and needy. These schemes include Aid for Children, Aid for Older Persons, Incentive Allowance for Disabled Workers, Aid for Person with Disabilities that are unable to work, Aid for Foster Children and Financial Assistance for Procurement of Artificial Limbs and Orthopedic Aide. With the aim to ensure the well-being of the less fortune and improve the quality of life, RM830 million has been allocated by the Government in 2009 to implement social safety net programmes.

To reach out to the people in need of aid as many as possible, a programme called Projek Cari has been launched in 2007. As of 7 August 2009, a total of 270,808 cases have been identified. Among these cases, 100,252 cases and 26,391 cases have been approved at Federal and state level respectively, while 63,298 cases did not qualify and 80,867 are still under investigation. Projek Cari has proven its effectiveness with the number of recipients has been increased from 159,483 persons in June 2008 to 286,126 persons in August 2009. To expedite the provision of financial assistance, the Department will continue to work with non-governmental organisations and grass-root leaders to identify those in need of aid. Therefore, I call upon all members of society to work with us and help us to reach them.

Another mechanism taken by the Government to eradicate hardcore poverty by 2010 is the implementation of programme e-Kasih. The Department of Social Welfare is one of implementing agencies to carry out this programme. The aim of the programme is to identify those in need of help in order to render appropriate assistance to them. As such, 44,643 poor families have registered under the programme e-Kasih and 11,872 cases had received aid with a total amount of RM3.6 million from the Department. In this regard, I would like to take this opportunity to urge the hardcore poor families to register with the portal at http://www.ekasih.gov.my/ or register at nearby district office. Today, the Department of Social Welfare has set up a counter here and I hope you will grasp this opportunity.

Continued efforts will be undertaken by the Government in the implementation of welfare programmes in order to achieve the goal of zero hardcore poverty by 2011. I am happy that the Prime Minister has put raising the standard of living of the low-income population as one of the National Key Results Areas. It shows that eradication of the poverty is always in the main agenda of the Government. Nevertheless, the Government will continue provide opportunity for the poor and needy to gain skills and to get into work. Only with decent work, we are able to lift them out from poverty trap and gain economic and social independence.

I am pleased to note that the students from Taylor’s College has shown care and concern for the less privileged. Their demonstration in designing and building the FBP structure truly shows their compassionate heart for the poor besides achieving academic excellence. Everyone can play a role in helping the needy and it is time for us to take proactive approach to help them.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Yeo Hiap Seng to fulfill its Corporate Social Responsibility with a programme targeted specially for the needy. With your support to provide 10,000 canned foods to the FBP has encouraged the efforts of Grace Community Services and also gave opportunities for the students to have hands-on practice of what they have learnt in the classroom environment.

I thank you all once again for your participation in this project. I hope with this launch, Grace Community Services will receive more support in their appeals to feed the poor. Let us all join hands to bring hope to the less fortunate.

1 comment:

LBP said...

If MCA/BN can save more for the Rakyat without wasting money and enriching its cronies in PKFZ, collapsed stadiums, submarine deals, etc etc, Malaysia would not even need "FoodBank for the Poor"!!

BN is corrupted to the core and should be kicked out once and for all!!