Annuar Musa: Urban poverty is colour blind, affects all races

Annuar expressed his concern over worsening poverty especially in urban areas. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Annuar expressed his concern over worsening poverty especially in urban areas. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 11 — Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa said he has come to learn that poverty affects urban residents regardless of ethnicity.

The Umno leader said he came to the realisation when meeting with urban residents of all backgrounds, which allowed him to witness firsthand the conditions that the least privileged in the city must live in daily.

“Something I learned when I was on the ground with urban residents is that urban poverty knows no skin colour. I have seen the hardships of the Malays, Chinese, Indians and others.

“I see their homes, clothes and stalls. I feel as though I do not have enough hands or time to help them all,” he wrote on Twitter today.

Attaching a picture of him handing out a box of mandarin oranges to an elderly Chinese man in his post, Annuar expressed his concern over worsening poverty especially in urban areas.

On Monday, two United Nations agencies released a report showing that socio-economic conditions for nearly half of the urban population in low-cost public housing worsened in the last quarter of 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic and movement curbs pushed unemployment up.

Unemployment issue among heads of households doubled to 15 per cent in December last year compared to just three months earlier while one in three adults in participating households are still without work, the study jointly held by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (Unicef) found.

In 2019, Malaysia raised its official poverty line income to reveal a more accurate representation of the problem, placing over 400,000 households as living in poverty including over 27,000 that were officially destitute.

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