Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak (centre) witnesses the Memorandum of Understanding signing between East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) Datuk Seri Jebasingam Issace John and MyKasih Foundation chairman Tan Sri Dr Ngau Boon Keat (right) at Dewan Rakyat. Bernama pic.

KUALA LUMPUR: A human capital development programme that aims to help needy students from the east coast states received a major boost here.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed for the programme called “empower ECERDC” where aid would be channeled to help Orang Asli students, those who underperform and the poor.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak witnessed the MoU signing between the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) and MyKasih Foundation at Dewan Rakyat.

The ECERDC was represented by its chief executive officer Datuk Seri Jebasingam Issace John while MyKasih Foundation by its co-founder and chairman Tan Sri Dr Ngau Boon Keat.

"empower ECERDC, which focuses on improving academic achievements of underperforming students, particularly the Orang Asli, from poor families in the rural areas, is part of the federal government's overall strategy to ensure that the Rakyat benefits from the socio-economic transformation of ECER," according to a statement from the ECER or East Coast Economic Region.

During the event, the prime minister also handed mock e-cards to two Orang Asli representatives, one from Sungai Rual, Kelantan and another from Tasik Chini, Pahang.

According to the statement, a total of 117 Orang Asli students will be given a cashless monthly allowance of RM60 through the MyKasih "Love My School" student bursary smartcard.

"The smartcard will ensure that the students' daily necessities are covered as they can utilise the allowance to purchase daily meals at the school canteen, as well as books, stationery, sports attire and other learning essentials from the school bookshop."

At the same event, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed presented the Back-to-School gift packs to the Orang Asli students from participating schools.--Reporting by ARFA YUNUS, FERNANDO FONG, BEATRICE NITA JAY

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