PM: Govt will study UN’s poverty rate claim

A homeless man is seen sleeping on the sidewalks along Jalan Tun Perak in Kuala Lumpur, May 5, 2015. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
A homeless man is seen sleeping on the sidewalks along Jalan Tun Perak in Kuala Lumpur, May 5, 2015. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

PETALING JAYA, Aug 23 — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the government will study the claim made by United Nations human rights experts on the rate of poverty in the country.

“We will study what they say to find out whether it is true or not,” he told reporters when met after attending the MyPerintis Fourth Anniversary and fundraising dinner here tonight.

The UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, was reported as saying that official figures on poverty in the country were vastly inaccurate and do not reflect realities on the ground.

Alston was quoted as saying that official numbers relied on outdated measures, with the poverty line remaining at the same level for decades despite increasingly high costs of living.

Asked whether the government will change its method of measuring poverty after the claim was made, Dr Mahathir said: “If it is necessary we will.” — Bernama