Poverty eradication and entrepreneurship are foremost on UPKO’s agenda

PAPAR: Poverty eradication through entrepreneurship and education is one of the United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation’s (UPKO) missions, as related by its president, Datuk Ewon Benedick.


During Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s visit to Sabah, the poverty issue in Sabah was one of the topics discussed in the meeting with the state government.

Ewon, who is the Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperative, said he briefed the Chief Minister, Datuk Hajiji Noor, on the proposed Ehsan@KUSKOP programme by the ministry to help eradicate hardcore poverty in Sabah.

He had also informed him of the special meeting chaired by the Prime Minister and a meeting between the ministry and the state government to be held soon.

In the meeting, interventions on education and entrepreneurship were among the five interventions that the state government needed to resolve hardcore poverty.

“In the past, this ministry did not take poverty eradication as a core service. However, when I assumed the role of Minister in this ministry, I made it a priority to emphasize my strong desire to harness the power of entrepreneurship and education in our fight against poverty,” he expressed during his visit to Marcel Gabud, a dedicated member of UPKO, at his residence in Kg Mook yesterday.

Ewon added that the entrepreneurship movement, cooperative activities, and education must go hand in hand to resolve poverty.

According to him, they had formulated programmes based on this vision and discussed them in meetings. These programmes will be UPKO’s contribution to the people, as he believes that without UPKO’s support, he wouldn’t have been able to attain a position in that ministry.

The poverty agenda was discussed during the UPKO Convention and its congress as well as in the Supreme Council Meeting, he stated.

On job opportunities, he said that after he became MEDC Minister, he firmly asserted that he wanted all stalls and weekly traditional markets in villages and microbusiness establishments to be improved, especially in rural areas.

“I offer my leadership to become part of the solution to such programmes, and it is with that in mind that I brought in the 2023 National Level Hawkers and Small Traders Day Carnival (HPPK2023) to Penampang, and the Prime Minister Datuk Anwar Ibrahim came to grace the function,” he said.

He said the Prime Minister has approved a RM20 million allocation for the Tamu Desa project by the ministry to upgrade and build new hawker stalls in rural areas.

During the event, he received 58 membership applications to join UPKO from the Kinarut area. Also present during the event were Tan Sri Bernad Dompok, UPKO founder, and Datuk Gibert Sham, Papar UPKO Division chief, as well as party stalwarts and members.

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