‘New Village Master Plan 2005 improved residents’ lives’

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KUALA LUMPUR: The New Village Master Plan 2005 comprising 31 long-term and short-term strategies has made new villages more competitive, Parliament heard yesterday.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong said the master plan had modernised the lifestyle of residents and improved their economy via agriculture, small and medium industries (SMIs) and ecotourism.

“For example, Kampung Baru Coldstream in Bidor [is} famous for its fruits, [which] are exported to Singapore and Hong Kong.

“Kampung Baru Bukit Merah in Menglembu has been known for its shoes since the 1970s and is now able to market them abroad while Kampung Baru Ayer Hitam in Batu Pahat is famous for its ceramic industry,” he said in reply to a question from Rear Admiral (Rtd) Mohamad Imran Abdul Hamid (PKR-Lumut) in the Dewan Rakyat.

Mohamad Imran wanted to know about the measures planned to eradicate poverty in new villages and the type of SMIs that were designed for them.

Wee said there were also new villages that had undergone the process of urbanisation such as Kampung Baru Jinjang and Kampung Baru Seri Kembangan.

A special loan scheme was introduced for Chinese new villagers in 2011, with a RM100 million revolving fund under the 10th Malaysia Plan via Bank Simpanan Nasional.

“The new villagers can use the micro credit loans to expand their business while those who want to start small business can apply for loans of up to RM50,000.” — Bernama

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on November 4, 2014.