Govt revises poverty line income from RM980 to RM2,208

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s national poverty line income (PLI) has been raised to more than twice its previous level after the government adopted a new calculation methodology.

The PLI has been revised to a monthly household income of RM2,208, up from RM980 before and the national poverty rate in 2019 is at 5.6%, up from 0.4% calculated in 2016 using the older methodology.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economic Affairs) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed (pic) said the government reviewed its calculation methodology last updated in 2005, and the PLI in 2016 stood at RM980 per household per month.

“Based on the new PLI, the poverty rate is at 5.6% (405,441 households) in 2019.

“The poverty rate in 2016 is at 0.4% (24,700 households), measured using the PLI methodology of 2005.

“(But) if the PLI methodology of 2019 is used to measure the poverty rate in 2016, the percentage would be 7.6% (525,743 households), ” said Mustapa in a statement on Friday (July 10).

“This means if that was measured using the latest PLI methodology, the (relative) national poverty rate has dropped by 2% from 7.6% in 2016 to 5.6% in 2019, said Mustapa.

This was indicative of the effectiveness of the government’s programmes and initiatives to eradicate poverty, which had been supported by non-governmental organisations and private sectors, he said.

The new PLI was also revealed by Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin during his presentation of the Household Income, Expenditure and Basic Amenities Survey 2019 report in Putrajaya on Friday (Jul 10).

Mustapa said the decision to review the PLI calculation methodology began during the mid-term review of the 11th Malaysia Plan in October 2018.

Following that, the government reviewed the PLI determination methodology so that it more accurately depicted the consumption pattern and the demography of a household, in line with the progresses achieved by the nation since that year.

“Ministries, departments and government agencies including state governments need to take note of the 2019 PLI in designing their policies and programmes and reviewing their policies related to poverty eradication and social assistance, ” said Mustapa.

He added that by using accurate statistics, the government would be able to formulate strategies and policies.

“The government can also design a more appropriate, dynamic and pragmatic approach for each target group including in preparing the 12th Malaysia Plan, 2021-2025 which will be presented early next year, ” he said.

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