The government is looking to expand the Volunteering for International Professionals (VIP) programme to include low-income Asean countries such as Laos, Cambodia and Indonesia. Pix by Ahmad Irham Mohd Noor

PUTRAJAYA: The government is looking to expand the Volunteering for International Professionals (VIP) programme to include low-income Asean countries such as Laos, Cambodia and Indonesia.

Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Siregar Abdullah said the expansion idea was made following the two successful VIP programmes in the country under the National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS) initiative.

“We have carried out the programme for two years in the country but there are those in the Asean countries, especially from remote area, who can also benefit from the programme.

“This programme can help improve the lives of the Asean community and open the markets within the Asean region,” he said after closing the VIP 2016 programme today.

He said the programme was also conducted at a low cost of RM1.8 million but with high impact in just four months.

If the government was to carry out similar projects on its own, the cost will escalate and require more resources, Irwan said.

“We want the people to change their mindset and adapt to the ever-changing economic environment.

A total of 32 foreigners and 18 locals participated in the VIP 2016 programme, working in various projects around the country.

The VIP programme aims to gather foreign professionals to contribute their expertise towards the social and economic development of Malaysia through voluntary activities.

The 2016 programme involves youths at risk, the homeless, the disabled community, agro-tourism, empowerment of women and urban poverty, green technology and environment, tourism, and water projects carried from March 14 to June 30 in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Perak, Kedah, Kelantan and Sarawak.

At the event, Irwan also presented certificates to the volunteers and successful participants of the programme.

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