Selangor Journal
Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Amirudin Shari speaks during the handover ceremony of school bus subsidy aid for Tamil vernacular schools and Poverty Eradication Blueprint Assistance Programme at the Batang Kali multipurpose hall, Hulu Selangor, on April 25, 2024. — Picture by REMY ARIFIN/SELANGORKINI

Selangor continues decade-long bus fare subsidy programme for Tamil schools

By Yasmin Ramlan 

BATANG KALI, April 25 — The Selangor government is continuing an over decade-long practice to provide subsidies on bus fares for students of Tamil vernacular schools in the state, as part of efforts to assist the Indian community and prevent school absenteeism. 

This is following the announcement of a RM97,200 allocation to subsidise bus fares for 324 students attending Tamil national schools in the Hulu Selangor district. 

According to Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Amirudin Shari, since 2013, the state government has distributed a total of RM7.88 million to 26,258 students across Selangor for this purpose. 

“The state government will always be one step ahead in ensuring new opportunities to enhance the people’s livelihoods,” he said in his speech during the handover ceremony of school bus fare subsidy aid for Tamil schools and Poverty Eradication Blueprint Assistance Programme in Hulu Selangor at the Batang Kali multipurpose hall, here, today. 

Amirudin also announced the allocation of RM45,000 to nine Tamil vernacular schools in the district for the purpose of infrastructure improvement.

However, he dismissed any potential notion that the assistance handed out today is in view of the upcoming Kuala Kubu Baharu by-election, which is scheduled to take place on May 11. 

He stressed that the state government has been distributing similar aid annually. 

“I’m pretty sure there will be individuals who will criticise and belittle this programme because it is held ahead of the by-election. 

“However, the state government has been implementing this initiative since 2008 to ensure equal treatment for everyone in Selangor while fostering collective development,” he said, adding that over RM4 million has been allocated for Tamil schools statewide each year. 

Amirudin said the school bus fare subsidy programme will be gradually distributed to Tamil schools in other districts after a thorough screening to identify eligible students from low-income families. 

Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Amirudin Shari hands over financial aid to Tamil vernacular schools for infrastructure enhancement during the handover ceremony of school bus subsidy aid for Tamil vernacular schools and Poverty Eradication Blueprint Assistance Programme at the Batang Kali multipurpose hall, Hulu Selangor, on April 25, 2024. — Picture by REMY ARIFIN/SELANGORKINI

“Today’s programme for the Indian community is crucial because it not only provides financial assistance but also strengthens their education, ensuring that families have no excuse for their children to be absent from or drop out of school.

“We aim for the Indian community to break free from poverty. This is how the state government is aiding in long-term education initiatives,” he said. 

Amirudin said state executive councillor for poverty eradication V. Papparaidu will oversee the distribution of the aid. 

Aid for entrepreneurs 

The Menteri Besar said other than education and healthcare, the state government is also concerned about the welfare of entrepreneurs, especially those who are just starting or expanding their businesses. 

He said this is why the state administration consistently offers various programmes to support them.

One such initiative, according to Amirudin, is the Indian Selangor Empowerment and Entrepreneurs Development (i-SEED) programme, which is aimed at eradicating poverty among the community. 

“Assistance in the form of machinery and equipment is provided to small entrepreneurs, with a value of up to RM10,000.

“The programme, implemented since 2008, aims to enhance the economic status of the target group by fostering a viable economy with the potential for growth,” he said. 

Papparaidu, who was also present at the ceremony, said the assistance for entrepreneurs is part of the Poverty Eradication Blueprint Assistance Programme under Iltizam Selangor Penyayang. 

He noted that this year alone, 26 applications from the Hulu Selangor district have been approved, involving a total fund of RM133,400. 

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