When we talk about poverty in Brunei, often we have to face skeptical responses: “How can you have poverty in Brunei?” There are 2 types of poverty: absolute poverty & relative poverty. Brunei has relative poverty. The government of His Majesty has been quite generous in providing welfare support to all its residents. Free education, free health, distribution of baitul mal to the needy. But the fact remains that, hidden from public attention, are people who live without electricity, people who could only eat every few days, young children who have to work to support their family.
Perhaps we’ve read about socioeconomically challenged people in the media, like children seen selling ‘keropok’ in restaurants in Bandar.We blame the parents for letting the children out in the open to sell things for them, but we are not aware that maybe their parents are too sick to work so they rely on their young children to help. What about families who were abandoned, of single mothers with a family of seven to feed? Who are these people?
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