Kuala Lumpur, 10 July 2020 – The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) applauds the effort of the Department of Statistics Malaysia in revising the methodology of Poverty Line Income to better reflect the development of the nation. This revised methodology is based on a more accurate assessment of essential needs including essential non-food items and the optimum health calorie intake. The new methodology assesses that the Poverty Line Income should be set at RM2,208 rather than the previous rate of RM980. Under the previous methodology, the poverty rate stood at 0.4% in 2016, but under the new methodology, the rate has been revised to 7.6% in 2016 and 5.6% in 2019.
Commenting on the release, Wan Ya Shin, Research Manager of Social Policy in IDEAS said that “It is welcome that the government has updated its methodology to provide a more accurate picture of poverty in Malaysia. This will provide a better basis for policy-making and enable targeting of measures to help those that need it. Whilst it is good that the government has adopted this more accurate measure, it also highlights that absolute poverty remains a serious challenge in Malaysia and now the hard work of alleviating poverty must be stepped up to address the plight of those most in need. I also hope that the government will continue in this direction by providing more open access to data, to facilitate a more open discussion about the economic challenges Malaysia continues to face.”
The Department of Statistics Malaysia launched the Report of Household Income Expenditure and Basic Amenities Survey today, including the revised methodology for calculating the Poverty Line Income.
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For media enquiries, please contact Wan Ya Shin at email@example.com