Ipoh (Malaysia), Aug 25 (ANI): Perak Menteri Besar Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir met 17 poor Sikh families after he promised to help the community financially.
The families from in and around the state capital are among the more than 350 Sikh poor and hardcore poor in the state identified by the Union of Perak Sikh Organisations (Upso) through the Sikh Single Mothers Association (Sikhmai).
Sikhmai is a non-governmental organisation allied to Upso and the only single mothers body for Sikh women in the country.
Taking an unscheduled break from an early morning meeting at the State Secretariat, Zambry spent 30 minutes discussing their problems.
He then instructed the state Development Office and the state Welfare Department to immediately help them.
The New Straits Times quoted Zambry as saying that he was concerned about the level of poverty in the Sikh community in the state, dismissing claims there were no poor or needy Sikhs in Perak.
"If there are no poor Sikhs in the state, who then are the people I am meeting in my office? I have spoken to them. I urge Upso to compile a complete list of Sikhs in the state whose household income is below RM700 a month, so the state government can help them as soon as possible," he said.
He commended Upso and Sikhmai for approaching the state government directly for assistance, rather than protesting or demonstrating.
"It is through this type of engagement that the state government can better help the community. I hope this effort will continue, because only the Sikhs can tell me how the state government can help them," Zambry said. (ANI)