The Barisan Nasional government does not adhere to the philosophy of an open capitalist economy but practises a concept of constructive government intervention, said Najib Razak.
The Prime Minister said such an approach was essential to ensure that aid could be provided not in bulk but specifically to targeted needy individuals and groups.
“If we were to list all the aid given and being given by the government, it will be very evident that ours is a government that has the people’s welfare at heart at all times.
“This is our government led by Umno and BN which does not allow the nation’s economy to continue to grow to the extent that the strong become more successful, the rich become richer and the result is a widening income gap,” he said at the ‘Jom Bantu Rakyat’ (Let’s Help the People) Programme in the Bukit Gantang parliamentary constituency, in Taiping, today.
Perak Menteri Besar Zambry Abd Kadir; Bukit Gantang Umno Division chief Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal and Pilgrims Fund (Tabung Haji) chairman Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim were also present at the event.
Najib said the government launched a number of aid programmes in an effort to help the people, especially those in the bottom 40 per cent (B40) group of households.
He cited the ‘Jom Bantu Rakyat’ programme under which new houses were given to two needy households.
“This programme is carried out throughout the country and involves an allocation of RM19 million, of which RM8 million is a contribution from Umno. The federal government is providing RM4 million and RM7 million is from the Tabung Haji zakat (tithe) funds,” he said.
He said many more needy people would benefit from the programme in the rest of the country.
The Prime Minister said the Tabung Haji Foundation also provided zakat funds to be distributed to the needy.
“Tabung Haji is not using Tabung Haji funds (people’s money) to help the people as claimed by the opposition politicians but providing aid through zakat funds derived from (Tabung Haji) profits,” he said.
At the event, Najib also launched the eighth phase of the village street lighting project for Perak that covers 24 parliamentary constituencies.
He said the government had allocated RM250 million to install 422,133 village street lights throughout the country.
Najib also announced an allocation of RM1.2 million for the construction of a hall for Taman Mewah Phase 2 and two surau in the Bukit Gantang parliamentary constituency. – Bernama