Muhyiddin: Poverty figures to be verified at Cabinet meeting

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 29 Aug 2019

PUTRAJAYA: The government has attained great success in eradicating poverty but it should find ways to verify the United Nations findings on the country’s level of poverty, says Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

The Home Minister said the government was consistent in its objectives on poverty eradication since the New Economic Policy was initiated.

“The issue here is at what percentage is the poorest among the poor or hardcore poverty, as well as the percentage of those in the relative poverty group.

“We have the Cabinet meeting and I hope my colleagues, especially the Economic Affairs Minister who has all the data and figures, can help us to establish facts,” he said after launching the Home Ministry’s Merdeka celebrations here yesterday.

He said although the government had set its definition on measuring the degree of poverty, it should take cognisance of the UN findings.

“There are certain basic principles of how to measure things like poverty.

“If you just select (certain) areas and come to the assumption that the whole country with 30 million people was facing the problem, that is not the right way to do,” he added.

UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, Prof Philip Alston called for Malaysia to reassess its rate of poverty, claiming rigorous independent analyses suggested the rate of poverty was between 16% and 20% – far from the official figure of 0.4%.

Meanwhile, Muhyiddin said people should not overreact to the word “pariah” used by the Prime Minister.

He said facts should be established to determine the context of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s statement and the use of the word.

“So don’t overreact. Let’s establish facts and be rational. It is not likely for the Prime Minister to not to know what he is talking about,” he said.

Muhyiddin was commenting on the move by several Kapar PKR members who lodged a police report against Dr Mahathir for using the word “pariah” when commenting on Lynas Corp.

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