e-Kasih gives hope to small-time traders

PHOTO: e-Kasih gives hope to small-time traders

PORT DICKSON - Siti Megawati Tumin lost many friends after she quit her job as a management consultant to look after her eight children.

She said they were probably worried that she may need to borrow money from them.

To make ends meet, she took out her old sewing machine to stitch baby belly binders and swaddles, and also set up a food stall.

She made about RM1,000 (S$389) monthly and last year, three years after she started her venture, attended a business course organised by the Malaysian Malay Professionals Association (PPMM).

The programme was part of a government initiative to assist households which earn less than RM1,500 monthly.

Apart from the training, the 38-year-old was given two high-tech sewing machines and her income increased to RM3,000 monthly.

"With the extra cash, I ventured into other businesses such as beauty treatment, traditional massage and therapy for women undergoing confinement," she said.

Abdul Rahman Limat, 58, from Sepang, used to earn RM600 a month cutting grass and doing landscaping work at people's houses.

Under the Government's eKasih programme for the poor, he received training, a new grass-cutting machine and a rubbish blower from PPMM and now makes more than RM3,000 a month.

Couple K. Saravanan, 39, and K. Kalarani, 38, were worried about their future after the former became disabled following an accident, which left him unable to work.

Under eKasih, Saravanan, who now does event management, photography and videography, received camera lenses and other equipment worth RM4,000.

Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said the Government would continue to introduce programmes to help the poor, particularly those in urban areas.