Great urgency to address poverty among Malaysians: Kit Siang

13 Sep 2019 / 09:40 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: As there is a great sense of urgency to address the poverty issue among Malaysians, it is time for Malaysia to abandon outdated practices designed to generate ‘feel good’ numbers on poverty, says DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang (pix).

There appears to be a broad consensus that the manner in which the poverty line income (PLI) had been calculated has to be reviewed in preparing for the upcoming five year 12 Malaysia Plan.

“To put matters right, what is needed is the establishment of an independent technical expert group, a common accepted approach adopted by a large number of advanced countries when calculating important statistical measures,” said the Iskandar Puteri MP in a statement here, today.

It was reported that the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, Prof Philip Alston claimed that Malaysia has “significant poverty” and that its true poverty rate is about 15%.

However, Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali had dismissed the allegation saying Malaysia stands by its absolute poverty rate, 0.4% of the total households as recorded in 2016, or 24,700 households.

Lim added the estimated 0.4% absolute poverty rate is delusional and cannot be used as a basis for planning and allocation of resources.

“The methodology in place needs replacement and be brought into line with international best practice,” he said. — Bernama

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