Although the World Bank has indicated Malaysia is on track to achieve high-income nation status in the next two to six years, vulnerable communities remain sidelined from this advancement. These communities include daily wage earners, contract workers, indigenous peoples, and others among local and refugee communities.
According to the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia, poverty in these communities has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the lack of a comprehensive social protection system.
In 2021, building on a dialogue session with the UNHCR organised by APC on the surge of refugees emerging in the region from the on-going instability in Myanmar, a group of APC members and friends of APC came together to develop a pilot programme with the aim to support inclusive community development for vulnerable groups in Malaysia.
Through a dual-programme approach beginning in 2022, the group seeks to identify and support partners, ideas, and programmes which can galvanise improvements to the quality of life for vulnerable communities. Approaches will be inclusive and locally-rooted. Additionally, the group is on track to support a scholarship programme to enable students in vulnerable communities access higher education.
Currently, there are three anchors and a total of five APC members and friends supporting this multi-year project.