Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has reminded Malaysians that there are many existing avenues to seek financial assistance and opportunities to make an honest living.

In a blog post, Najib was reflecting on the recently reported case of a man caught shoplifting at a local hypermarket but was offered a job.

“I read about the shoplifting incident at Tesco Bukit Mertajam involving a father of three whose wife is warded in the intensive care unit.

“Even though stealing is a crime under the law, how the management of Tesco Bukit Mertajam had handled the incident by offering the man a job, must be commended,” he said.

Among available avenues, Najib said, would be to contact the nearest Welfare Department for financial assistance, advice or other ways to overcome any challenges faced.

For Muslims, Najib said, they can visit or contact the state religious department to request for zakat assistance.

This, he said, is despite the zakat collection bodies already conducting their own surveys to identify and assist any individuals who are eligible to receive assistance.

Aside from seeking assistance, Najib also encouraged job-seekers to enquire available positions from the nearest Labour Department office or go on its website.

“Remember Allah SWT’s reminder in the Al-Baqarah chapter verse 286: ‘Allah does not charge a soul except with that within its capacity.”

“Hold on to the ‘Man jadda wajada’ principle which means whoever puts in the effort, God willing, they will get what they work for…,” he said.

The Star Online yesterday reported that the 31-year-old man, who declined to be named, had stolen some food stuff worth RM27 from the Tesco hypermarket in Alma, Bukit Mertajam, because his children were hungry and he did not have any money.

The store’s general manager, Radzuan Ma’asan, was also quoted as saying that the man was found to be in a genuine state of poverty when interrogated about the incident that occurred last week.


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