KUALA LUMPUR: The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) World Factbook 2017 has reported that Malaysia’s poverty rate is the lowest among South-East Asian countries, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak.
He said it was just 3.8% compared to Vietnam and Indonesia (11.3%), Thailand (12.6%) , Laos (22%), the Philippines (25.2%) and Myanmar (32.7%).
“If compared to other countries with a high poverty line like Syria (82.5%), Madagascar (75.3%) and Zimbabwe (72.3%), I feel grateful over Malaysia’s success in ensuring the well-being of the people,” he said on his blog, sskeruak.blogspot.my, on Wednesday.
He also said the report highlighted that Malaysia’s per capita gross domestic product was US$27,200, which was far better than those of its regional peers as Thailand (US$16,800), Indonesia (US$11,700), the Philippines (US$7,700), Vietnam (US$6,400), Myanmar (US$6,000) and Laos (US$5,700).
Salleh stressed that Malaysia’s success was different from the perception of certain quarters who felt the country had been left behind, but the current data clearly showed it had achieved a level of economic growth that was very good vis-a-vis neighbouring countries.
“Samuel P. Huntington in his book, Political Order in Changing Societies
, said one way of evaluating the political development of a country is to watch its economic growth. The index of measurement he used was per capita income and the poverty line,” he added.
Salleh expressed confidence that through the Government’s efforts at making Malaysia a high income nation, 2018 promises a better outcome for the lives of the people. - Bernama