If only we had stronger social safety nets…

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If only all that oil money had not been frittered away and had instead been used to strengthen social safety nets, many families wouldn’t be struggling today.

In the course of writing the following piece for IPS, I found that a number of NGOs were working to plug the gaps in the existing social safety nets through which children and teenagers from disadvantaged families had fallen through. Unfortunately, these groups have suffered a sharp drop in donations and even volunteers.

When firms began slashing overtime and reducing the number of days worked because of the economic slowdown, households suffered. Many workers had previously taken out loans, whether from banks or moneylenders, on the strength of their overtime-boosted income, and were unable to service their loans; others found their homes being foreclosed.

“If they have children, their situation is worse. Some of them had to stop their children from going to school because they can’t afford bus fares, which had really gone up. If they have three or four children going to school, bus fares (at around 40 ringgit [or 11.67 dollars] monthly per child) can take up a big chunk of their incomes.”

Full IPS article here.

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Tanm

Compare to Africa and zimbabwe… i rather live there than here under Umno … they make us suffer since 1950’s….vote those … next GE and things will get better and calm surely in utopia

Tanm

This alll sort of UMNO … punya kerja…useless administrator causing us suffer… vote them out in the next GE…there nothing good about UMNOGoons

Bigjoe

Social safety net is only the first step in dealing with what is a systematic character of modern economics. What is needed is a way for people that get laid off or fall on the wayside for whatever reason to return back to economic system in some way. Self-help, grass-root community systems that encourages people to renew their economic efforts. Poverty is a tragedy but its not wrong on its own. What is wrong is people stop trying or keep doing the same wrong things or fruitless things again and again. You do need social safety nets but its only… Read more »

MyBlog

Hmmmmmm dont know what to say becoz it is not going to change anything, if the oil money, wastages, graft and spillage can be contained, I tell you there is plenty to take care of all the poor of this country.

Phua Kai Lit

Stronger safety nets not only help less privileged people. They also make the society a more pleasant place to live in (you don’t see hordes of homeless people living in the streets) and even help to stabilise the economy to some extent e.g. unemployment compensation helping to increase demand during times of economic downturn.

Limko

The idea is to create a more equal and humane society not a lopsided society with extreme riches and poor contributing the seeds of social unrest especially when the country resources are being pillaged and squandered away through political connections at the expense of common people.

iron

Anil, there will always be some struggling families no matter how good the social safety net is.

Sean

“there will always be some struggling”
Of course – but it will be their fault, not yours.