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KUALA LUMPUR, July 20 — A member of Parliament today proposed that the Poverty Line Income (PLI) figures for Bumiputera group be looked into and divided into three categories namely, Bumputera Malays, Bumiputera Sabah and Bumiputera Sarawak.
Ong Kian Ming (PH-Bangi) said this is because the poverty rate of Bumiputera in Sabah and Sarawak is higher than the Malays in the peninsula.
“Getting the accurate figure will help the government improve existing policies and effectively address the poverty issue among Sabah and Sarawak Bumiputera,” he said during the debate on the motion of thanks for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s royal address at the Dewan Rakyat sitting here today.
Recently, the Department of Statistics announced that Malaysia’s PLI had been revised to RM2,208, according to calculations based on the 2019 methodology.
Previously PLI was calculated based on the 2005 method, which marked the poverty line at RM980 based on the basic requirements for a household to live healthily and actively.
Ong also proposed that the PLI figure be revised according to states to give a more accurate picture of the situation.
“According to the 2019 Household Expenditure Survey, the poverty rate index for Selangor stood at RM2,022. It is lower compared to the country’s overall poverty rate index of RM2,208, while the Federal Territories was at RM2,216, which is RM8 higher than the national index.
“The cost of living in the Klang Valley is much higher than in other areas in Malaysia. Another example, is the poverty rate index in Terengganu, which is at RM2,507, I think it is too high and this will not give an accurate indication of the poverty rate,” he added.
Ong also said that the individual-level data for the Household Expenditure Survey must also be published as a general set of data.
“The detailed data set can be published in general. This would enable lecturers and academicians at the local universities to conduct in-depth research regarding the poverty issue,” said Ong. — Bernama