KUCHING: The government is committed to implementing programmes to eradicate poverty and increase the income of low-income households concerning addressing the wealth and income gap among the people, especially in the post-Covid-19 pandemic period.
“In this regard, the government will continue to implement existing poverty eradication programmes and projects, including providing assistance and support as well as social welfare programmes to the poor to increase income, wellbeing, and living standards,” said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
He said this in a written reply to Senator Dr Nuing Jeluing for the Dewan Negara session in Putrajaya on Tuesday (Sept 22).
Nuing had asked Muhyiddin to state the effect of restructuring the PLI to RM2,208 per month per household, as well as how many households were now under the PLI and what steps had been taken to overcome poverty.
Muhyiddin said that assistance such as cash transfers, affordable housing, and educational and health support would continue to be provided based on needs.
Besides this, he said that productive welfare programmes such as entrepreneurship and micro-financing would be intensified to provide economic opportunities for the poor, adding that for more targeted implementation, data from e-Kasih would be used for this purpose.
“Among others, the government has also launched the National Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana) aimed at stimulating the national economy and this is expected to benefit all citizens, especially the poor and low-income households.”
He explained that the government’s revision of the poverty line income (PLI) for Malaysia in 2019 emphasised on food intake with the concept of optimum minimum, health, and basic non-food requirements which are of quality.
He added that based on the PLI 2019 methodology, the national PLI average value was RM2,208 while the food PLI average value was RM1,169 per month with an average household size of 3.9 people.
“Based on this PLI value, the national absolute poverty rate is 5.6 percent encompassing 405,441 households, while the national hardcore poverty rate is 0.4 percent covering 27,158 households.”
Muhyiddin said that currently, the government was implementing sessions involving various parties, including ministries, departments, agencies, all State Economic Planning Units, and several academics and research institutes to provide further explanations relating to the PLI 2019 methodology which had been improved.
“The sessions are also used to gain views to improve the government’s poverty eradication efforts to be included in the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP), 2021-2025, which will be tabled in Parliament early next year.”
He said that all these efforts were in line with the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030, towards ensuring that all Malaysians achieve a decent standard of living by 2030.