KUALA LUMPUR – The poverty line will be revised after data from the Household Income, Expenditure and Basic Amenities Survey (HIES/BA) 2022 is analysed.
According to Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy), the survey is being carried out by the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM).
During the Dewan Negara session on Aug 16, he stated that the purpose of the survey is to examine and provide data on household income and expenditure patterns as well as poverty statistics, particularly the poverty rates at the administrative district level, which is likely to be released in March of 2023.
Mustapa was responding to Senator Datuk Koh Nai Kwong who enquired about the government’s plan to recalculate the poverty line value following Malaysia’s transition into the endemic phase.
He explained that the survey was initiated around the beginning of the year and will be conducted over the year involving a total of 92,000 households that were selected.
“It will take into account income, expenditure, demand patterns, and prices of goods and services, as well as the impact of the rising cost of living,” he added.
He stated that the Prime Minister’s Department’s Implementation Coordination Unit (ICU) is also collecting poverty data through the eKasih system.
As at July 31 this year, over 136,923 households are categorised as extremely poor whereas 308,699 were classified as poor, he added.
Mustapa said that the ICU is collaborating with the district and state government offices to collect the data with data cleanup being implemented from time to time.
In 2019, the poverty line was raised to RM2,208 per month in stark comparison to RM980 per month that was in 2016.
For the extreme poor households, Mustapa said the household income stood at RM1,169 monthly in 2019 as well with the households at poverty rate at 5.6% and the extreme poor at 0.4% that year.
However, he explained the effects of COVID-19 bringing up the rates of absolute poverty and extreme poverty to 8.4% and 1.0% each in 2020.
Furthermore, the rate of Malaysia’s relative poverty rate in 2020 was 16.2%.
He elaborated that relative poverty is measured by the number of households earning less than 50% of the median monthly income of RM5,209.
Apart from that, the government is also measuring poverty with the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) to include the other dimensions including health, education, living standards, and income, he added.
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