Kuala Lumpur, 20 March 2017 – According to the latest figures by the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) the average income per person in Malaysia has fallen by as much as 15% from USD 10,345 in 2013 to USD8,821 in 2016. This raises serious questions on whether or not Malaysia can achieve its goal of becoming a high income nation by 2020 says the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS).
Commenting on the figures, IDEAS Director of Research Ali Salman said, “The figures are rather alarming but t he government has yet to give a full explanation on how they will address the issue. I think this is partly because when the figures were reported in Malaysian Ringgit it showed positive growth in average income at RM32,596 in 2013 to RM37,930 in 2016. But in US dollars, which is what countries generally use as a benchmark, the story is vastly different.
” At an average yearly income of USD8,821 Malaysia today is severely off-track in our Wawasan 2020 goal of achieving a Gross National Income (GNI) of USD 15,000. When the GNI was USD 10,345 in 2013, the goal was realistic but challenging. Now it will be extremely difficult and with 2020 being just 3 years away we simply cannot afford to drop further down”, explained Ali.