Saturday, October 24, 2009

The story behind the Ministry of FTUW

Budget 2010: Curing the Urban Poor malaise. It's a funny name to give a ministry - Ministry of Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing - but Raja Nong Chik, the Minister, won't find it funny as he has suddenly found his tasks multiply.
His main job now, it would seem, is ensure the well-being of Malaysians who live in urban areas and who earn less than RM3000 a month.
Just how many are there in this category?

In 2008, 10.4 million Malaysians who lived in urban areas earned below RM3000 a month. The breakdown was 6.9 million Malays, 3.5 million Chinese, and 1.04 million Indians. And that ain't funny.

In his Budget 2010 speech, Najib said:
113. The urbanisation rate is increasing rapidly with 63% of the population residing in urban areas. The poverty rate in urban areas continues to increase due to high cost of living, low income and housing problems. To overcome this, the Government will allocate RM48 million to implement urban poverty eradication programmes, including welfare assistance and house rental payment.

114. To address urban poverty in a holistic manner, the role of Ministry of Federal Territories will be strengthened and expanded to include urban poverty eradication nationwide, including those with monthly income below RM3,000. For this, I propose that Ministry of Federal Territories shall now be known as Ministry of Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing. Among the main responsibilities of this Ministry include preparing a comprehensive action plan and implementing suitable programmes to address urban poverty.
In my mind, the PM's attempt to help ease the hardship of the urban poor in his Budget is what makes his first Budget special. If it's a hint of what he has in store for Malaysians under the 10th Malaysia Plan, we can expect him to do more to improve the qualify of urban life. This, hopefully, would also help reduce crime associated with poverty. Of course, politically, the urban folk have been said to be the unhappiest with the government during the last general election.

Najib's full speech on the budget, h e r e.


  1. Malays the most of them?

  2. Hi Rocky,
    Referring to the post, URBAN equates JB, Penang, Ipoh etc etc. This would be overlapping MBs job, wouldn't it? It cannot be only for Kuala Lumpur's urbanites? Would it?
    I wouldn't know but I just hope the Minister might remember my other nickname from Lembah Pantai, DinKaca.

  3. What happen to the big talk about inching our country up the earning curve? That would help to solve whatever problem that happens due to the escalation of the cost of living.

  4. What happen to the big talk about inching our country up the earning curve? That would help to solve whatever problem that happens due to the escalation of the cost of living.

  5. Anonymous4:47 pm

    ahhh.. rocky. i think that data is manipulated by UMNO to justify big projects in KL area/JB area and Penang area.
    The truth is most of those people in urban area are illegal immigrants, chinese and indian. The malays are the most rich of all them. look at anuar,khalid,KJ, heck, these people eat cereal in the morning.
    whereas those chinese and indians only drink tea tarik and kaki ayam for breakfast.
    There fore we must ensure that the chinese got more money (the chinese are not even in the FORBES list of the most rich man in malaysia), the indians got more kuil (the most fair view is one indians one kuil) for them to pray and illegal immigrants ICs so that KL/JB/penang and other urban areas can prosper.
    Malays? They are too rich and powerful. The PMs are malays. what else do they want? Mosques? with current "sejadah tegak" and "rasul melayu kene tangkap", they should just sit back and enjoy all the rasuah money they have!
    after all nik aziz has guaranteed the malay to be in heaven! enough for the malays!

  6. Anonymous5:02 pm

    very nice...TQ PM yb.Najib...
    A true PM...
    HAPPYGUY says

  7. Bro, the urban people think the prices of goods they buy are high. They don't see those prices in rural area yet. The rural people actually pay more for their groceries. But they have less opportunity to make more money.

    Do visit my site

  8. Anonymous6:13 pm

    Special? Just because he talked about urban poverty. Wow, you are sure pretty desperate in your spin. The question you should ask Najib is why the migration to urban area?


  9. Anonymous9:26 pm


    I am Malay, urbanite, egalitarian, classless and meritocrat. NO PPSMI NO VOTE in THE COMING GE.

    SEKSYEN 19

  10. Anonymous10:20 pm

    To be fair, this is the first time the govt is looking into the urbanites well being. In recent times, read Badawi do nothing, the focus was still on the rural areas when 65% of Malaysian live in the urban. Is it any surprise the urban areas reject BN, whether it is Malay, Chinese or Indian. Race has nothing to do with this lost. It is the mismatch of policy.

  11. Recognising and attending to the needs of the urban poor is a great big step. A bigger step would be to inculcate the need for adult education/training and certification. Somehow a lot of them, especially amongst the Malays and the Indians, it would seem like if they performed badly in school then they are destined to the menial jobs that they get into.

    Unless they have been lucky enough to encounter and engage in business that might take them out of the poverty trap, the majority don't even consider the possibility of adult education that might help to improve them.

  12. Al-Sadr12:24 am

    Rocky bru;

    I've got good news for you, the AP king's and Queens are back in bussiness next year.


  13. Anonymous9:50 am

    Old Fart,

    there is a 2nd or 3rd & so on chance thru lifelong learning.

    see here

  14. Anonymous10:41 am

    Yes, what precisely would the Government do to improve the income of the urban poor.

    I'm interested in those not employed in companies but self-employed trying to do small businesses, including pasar malam. I think they form a significant majority. Those pasar malams also exist as pasar siang, moving from one locality to another, many groups of them serving the wide and spreading metropolis that, for example are known as TTDI, PJ, SJ, Selayang, etc.

    They do look after the low income urbanites outside WP also, don't they? The 2nd half of the Ministry's name suggests so. I suspect there are more urban poor outside than inside WP.

    You'll find so many of them living in low cost flats the Government built to zero down squatters and illegal occupants of Government land many years ago. I hope the Government will think of more opportunities for them in terms of business opportunities that will improve their income. Housing and other hand outs should not be the main thrust as it widens the subsidy mentality. Creating opportunities for them to get additional income on a long-term basis would help solve the problem. Semi-permanent bazaars like for tourists around Masjid India, for example.


  15. Anonymous12:23 pm

    it's not just about earning, but making sure that there's enough basic needs for everyone. first and foremost that should be dealt with is water management. the population is burgeoning and the world weather is screwing the precipitation (rainfall) pattern....remember the water crisis? water shud be on the top of the list....then BN will get my vote again :)


  16. Bro

    To be quite honest, PM Najib's budget must rank as the worst in living memory.

    In particular the reintroduction of RPGT is a slap in the face for those foreigners who were courted openly by our Govt with all sorts or promises. They brought in much needed FDI's when the property market was facing a slump. Now they are being rewarded with sodomy by a clueless u-turning Govt.

    Watch investors dump propert counters quoted on the KLSE!

    Then again, the 15% lower tax for those working in Iskandar is a complete negation of the much touted 1 M'sia concept.When Selsngor and KL were developing and contributing huge amounts to the Treasury, did they have a dual tax rate system? This concession to an underperforming IRD is as cockamanie as they come!

    The tax on credit card holders is petty and the $10,000 tax on AP's for imported cars will only be passed on to the consumer. And Najib was the one who said that AP's will be phased out by 2010, but his deputy wants to give it all away for free to the AP Kings and Queens forever!

    How many will benefit from the 1% reduction in the top rtae of tax? It will only benefit the already rich, not the masses who earn less than RM50K per year!

    I hang my head in shames at the shambles that are our Finance Ministry and EPU. They have lost the plot completely!!

    We are all of 1 race, the Human Race

  17. Anonymous4:03 pm

    You want to earn more and you believe the government can help you do that? You are wrong, if you look around only some malaysian are able to achieve that and those Malaysian left for Singapore where their earnings has all went up and you can attach that to the success of the Singapore government.

    So if you want to earn more go elsewhere, I am a Malay who came to UK and never look back.

  18. Another MSM. UMNOgoon

  19. Anonymous7:58 pm

    Anon 4.03

    Are you one of the British Overseas Citizens who were refused Permanent Stay after tearing Malaysian passports and staying illegally in Britain now?

    They all are looking to the kitchen sinks etc, washing dishes at Soho Chinese restaurants - including one ex-Penang architect, according to news reports.

    If you are not looking back, why the hell are you reading and leaving a comment in this blog?

    You know what we say to those who have absconded the country, including qualified professionals? Good Riddance.


  20. Anonymous9:11 pm

    This is what our pm said in Hua Hin today (Star): “They are getting the RM1,000 tax relief and those paying tax at 27% will now pay 26%.

    “So, they get two (relief measures) and only have to pay RM50 (per credit card). Don’t tell me they cannot pay RM50?” he said after a meeting at the 15th Asean Summit here yesterday."

    Mr. PM, I am a retiree and I am living on my saving. Is it a sin to have a credit card that I am penalized with RM50 now.It may mean nothing to you but it means a lot to me.

    Chiam HN

  21. rocky,

    i suggest she must be cleared by MMC or the health ministry first.

    if a qc from uk needs permission to appear in malaysian courts why shouldn't doctors too?

    for all we know her qualifications may not be up to mark