Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad with Rural Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun during a session with strategic partners of the ministry’s in Putrajaya. -NSTP/Mohd Fadli Hamzah

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said he would not hesitate to revoke government aids notably on cases of the Approved Permits (APs) being abused and sold off for profit.

He said actions perpetuated by some to earn quick profit had hindered the success of government policies aimed at helping the poor.

"We can have all the ideas and policies, but if they are not well-received by the poor, with some of them ending up being abused, it will ultimately fail," he said at a session with strategic partners of the Rural Development Ministry, here, today.

Also present was Rural Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun.

The prime minister gave examples of some of the alleged abuses of government assistance that include selling off contracts and APs to gain quick profit.

"We want to ensure all forms of opportunities including contracts and APs can be executed in an orderly and proper manner.

"We will revoke what has been sold off like APs," Dr Mahathir added.

Dr Mahathir also urged the poor to grab the opportunities provided by the government, including pursuing education to improve their socioeconomic status.

Rehabilitation or changes would not happen without efforts, the prime minister said.

Dr Mahathir also reiterated his call to those in the rural areas to make use of modern technology to improve their livelihood.

He said village products previously had a limited market and were confined to their own areas.

"Now, the market is huge and they can sell their products via online platform to the world.

"The more we sell, the bigger profit we will make," he said.

The prime minister called on Malaysians to grab jobs and business opportunities eyed by foreign workers.

He renewed his call for land owners of small plots to get together and form a bigger estate, managed by professionals.

The government, he said, only wanted to help the poor by reducing the gap between those in the rural and urban areas.

Statistics have shown that the average income gap between the Top 20 (T20) and Below 40 (B40) has widened from RM1,935 in 1989 to RM10,148 in 2016.

If the gap continued to widen, he said, it would cause tension among the people.