Youths in Keningau and Tenom are advised to participate in free healthy activities organized by youth clubs and in sports to enhance their health and avoid negative social problems amidst rising inflation induced higher cost of living that contributes to pressing conditions of poverty.
Sabah DAP parliamentary liaison chief for Keningau and Tenom, Dr Benjamin Yapp encouraged the young people to undergo training programs in order to improve their knowledge, skills and talents in various fields to strive to get out of the poverty cycle.
He said many parents complained that their children were not given opportunities to further their education due to their poverty.
They voiced their grievances to Dr Benjamin Yapp that many of the rural schools in the interior were lacking basic infrastructure facilities such as decent school building
“They said bad rural road conditions have also affected their schooling children in the rural areas and had to walk many miles along the dusty and muddy road conditions to reach the rural schools.
“When it rains many rural areas were flooded with water and were muddy all over the place that made it more difficult for their children to reach schools.
“Many of the poor children could not afford to pay for school fees and have no money to buy text books and other necessities, he said.
Dr Benjamin Yapp, who is also the Sabah DAP Rural Development Bureau chairperson stated that absolute poverty in the rural areas could be alleviated if economic growth can raise rural income on a sustainable basis.
“Due to the increased fuel prices and essential commodities, parents in the rural areas were faced with hardship and many of the rural poor families could not afford to eat well.
“There were many hardcore poor in the interior where their houses were in a dilapidated condition.
“The research carried out recently by Sabah DAP Interior Mobile Service Team found the fact that Government policies have not effectively alleviated rural poverty,” he said.
He called on the state government to take positive measures in order to look into the problems facing the rural populations like the increase in prices of fuel and essential foodstuff and material.
He urged the Government to focus on helping groups of smallholders, landless tenants and labourers including rural women who could contribute towards the socio-economic development in the rural areas.