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Malaysian Poverty Benchmark Revised After 15 Years, Now At RM2,208

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Source: Financial Times / FMT

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On Friday, 10th July 2020, the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM) revised Malaysia’s Poverty Line Income (PLI) to RM2,208, after 15 years.

Having previously calculated the last PLI based on the 2005 methodology, the benchmark poverty then, was at RM980 – factoring in basic requirements for a household to live healthily and actively.

Commenting on the revision, netizen @acaiijawe cited that the rate of poverty in the country has risen to 5.6% in 2020 from 0.4% in 2019.

Exactly how much does 5.6% represent? According to his tweet thread, 405,441 households, a jump of more than 1500% from 2019’s 24,700 households based on the previous PLI in 2019.

From the government’s point of view, if the new PLI was taken into consideration for calculations of the poverty line before 2019, Malaysia has seen a drop of 2 percentage points.

Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed from the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) said: “If measured using the new PLI method, the country’s poverty rate has decreased by two percentage points from 7.6% in 2016 to 5.6% in 2019.”

What would this mean for households in the future?

According to the minister, with the right statistics, the government will be able to formulate policies and strategies as well as design more appropriate, dynamic and pragmatic approaches for each target group.

Would we see a bump in basic salary? Will more household items be subsidised in the future? Share with us your thoughts on what this new PLI would mean to us all in the comments section below.

 

Also read: 11 Million People In Asia May Be Driven Into Poverty Because Of Covid-19

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