Posted by SM Maulana
By Debra Chong, The Malaysian Insider
After 100 days in power, the PKR-led Selangor state government proved that “impossible” is not a word that exists in its dictionary.
Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim marked the milestone at a rally at the Shah Alam Stadium last night by disclosing a full series of people-centric socio-economic measures to alleviate the people’s burden impacted by the high cost of living.
“In this first phase, starting from June 1, we promise the whole of Selangor … to effectively realise our policy to ‘merakyatkan ekonomi’,” he said.
“Others say it’s impossible … but what efforts have the BN government taken to reduce the people’s burden? This is what differentiates (the BN government from) the Pakatan Rakyat government,” he added, to cheers from the ground.
Last week, the state government announced the successful delivery of its promise to grant 20 cubic metres of water free to all Selangor households.
Earlier yesterday, the state government distributed free rice, sugar and milk to households with a monthly income of RM1,500 and below.
Among the seven measures to be implemented is a special trust fund for Selangor-born children, known by the acronym Tawas.
From June 1, the state government will invest RM100 in each child registered to have been born in Selangor from Jan 1, 2008 onwards, and provide them insurance coverage right up to when they reach 18.
“At age 18, they will get at least RM1,500 on the interest made in this fund, which will be credited straight into the children’s (bank) account or given a cheque … within two weeks or 10 working days,” Khalid explained.
From Aug 1, the state government will start awarding RM1,000 to Selangor-born children starting diploma or degree studies at government-recognised institutions of higher learning. Only those with a monthly household income of RM1,500 and below are eligible.
A separate education fund, in the form of scholarships and housing aid, will be set up soon for children of estate workers, Khalid announced.
A view of the huge crowd at the rally at the Shah Alam Stadium to mark the PKR-led government’s 100 days in Selangor celebration.
While most of the measures are youth-centric, the state government has also prepared a takaful (insurance) and free medical scheme worth RM3,500 for Selangor citizens 60 years old and above. The scheme will kick off in October.
The rest of the burden-reducing schemes, a stop-measure crisis centre for women and children, such as victims of rape and domestic violence, will be implemented in later stages.
Khalid also announced a programme to increase revenue from the sale of sand and minerals, which he pledged would be fairly distributed to benefit the people in the state.