Anwar backs Prof Alston, urges review of poverty rate

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 18 Sep 2019

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): PKR president Anwar Ibrahim said the government should review the poverty rate in Malaysia following a United Nations (UN) report claiming that the national poverty rate is at 15% and not 0.4% as reported in 2016.

He said a study on poverty rates in Malaysia should be carried out and measured using the right methods to ensure accurate findings.

“I see poor people in almost every villages or Felda settlements in Malaysia.

"Therefore, I think the actual poverty rate in the country may be higher than the government’s 0.4%.

“I also think that claims made by the UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights Prof Philip Alston that Malaysia has ‘very visible’ poverty rate and that the actual poverty rate is about 15% are true, ” he said.

He said this at the Digital Native Agenda (DNA23): The Challenges and Way Forward held at the Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), here on Tuesday night (Sept 17).

At the same time, Anwar said the previous BN government's implementation of poverty eradication programmes was not transparent and there were leakages.

“Up to RM28bil allocation a year to help the poor, but there were leakages and neither the fishermen nor the farmers received the assistance.

“We don’t want it to happen again as the help should reach the target, and we need to identify the implementation method so there will be no more corruption and leakages, ” he added.

On allegations that Sabah had been sidelined by the federal government, Anwar, who is also Port Dickson MP, said the previous government, as well as the present Pakatan Harapan-led government, had never sidelined Sabah and Sarawak.

“It is just a sentiment that should not have been raised.

"If in the past people used to say that the Federal Government has ‘robbed’ Sabah of its wealth, for example, timber, it didn't happen as those who robbed the state were Sabah’s own leaders with some (leaders) from the federal level, ” he said.

Meanwhile, commenting on the Digital Native Agenda (DNA23) initiative, Anwar said the government would address the problem of Internet network coverage nationwide, which now restricted the use of digital technology as emphasised in the initiative. – Bernama

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