The 1Azam programme had recorded a reduction of 55.3 per cent of the national poverty rate, according to the Women, Family and Community Development Minister, Datuk Rohani Abdul Karim.

Sources from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) conference said the national poverty rate dropped from 3.8 per cent in 2009 to 1.7 per cent in 2012.

The minister said the reduction in the rate could be seen due to inclusive poverty eradication initiatives, such as the 1AZAM programme which was introduced in 2010.

“From the implementation in 2010 until June 2013, the programme saw 132,511 participants taking part,” said Rohani.

The 1Azam programme aims to help poor Malaysians generate more income to support their families through job-placings, small businesses, service enterprises and farming.

Rohani added that the programme, which was using the productive welfare method, had enabled low-income families to generate extra income so that they can get out of the poverty level.

“Through the skills and entrepreneurship training that were provided, it has proven that they can be successful, and thus the government’s efforts to eradicate poverty through entrepreneurship will also stimulate economic growth in the country,” she said.

Rohani added Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had been told on Monday about the positive development of lowering the poverty rate during a delivery taskforce meeting.