Tok Pa: Govt will improve poverty measurement methods

Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed speaks during the 12th Malaysia Plan winding-up debate at Parliament, October 7, 2021. — Bernama pic
Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed speaks during the 12th Malaysia Plan winding-up debate at Parliament, October 7, 2021. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 7 — The government will continue to improve poverty measurement methods to ensure the effectiveness of poverty eradication initiatives, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said.

In his 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) winding-up debate at Parliament today, he said the government already has the multidimensional poverty index (MPI) that covered four dimensions and 11 indicators.

“It will be expanded to be more comprehensive to better measure multi-dimensional poverty, taking into account the availability of broadband and digital devices.

“MPI will assist evidence-based decision-making process at all stages of planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of poverty reduction initiatives,” he said.

Data centres regarding poverty eradication and social aids would be integrated through the development of the Social Protection Database (PDPS) to eliminate duplication as well as errors in the entry and exclusion of aid recipients.

Mustapa said big data analysis and data-based policies would also be used to improve poverty eradication programmes. “To date, a total of 167 programmes across all ministries and departments, involving 13.7 million aid recipients with a value of RM28.6 billion, have been identified.”

He said the PDPS is expected to be launched by the prime minister in November.

Meanwhile, on the 30 per cent Bumiputera ownership in corporate equities, he said as of 2019, Bumiputera ownership in corporate equities based on market value was only 17.2 per cent compared to non-Bumiputera at 25 per cent, foreigners 45.5 per cent and nominees 12.3 per cent.

Mustapa said the government has announced an equity safety net framework to increase Bumiputera equity ownership in the 12MP to ensure the sale of Bumiputera shares or companies belonging to Bumiputera-mandated agencies is offered and sold to consortiums, companies or other qualified Bumiputera individuals.

He said these Bumiputera-mandated agencies consisted of Bumiputera interest institutions, including Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) and Lembaga Tabung Haji as well as Bumiputera trust agencies including Majlis Amanah Rakyat, Ekuiti Nasional Bhd and the state economic development corporations.

PNB is the largest contributor to Bumiputera corporate equity ownership.

However, he said the proposal does not involve shares or companies to be sold by Bumiputera individuals, non-Bumiputera or foreign companies.

“I would like to emphasise that this proposal will not take away the interests of other races,” he said.

On nominees ownership in corporate sector equities, he said nominees’ ownership based on market value was 12.3 per cent in 2019.

He said at the moment, nominee holdings are not required to disclose the true owners of their shares.

“Therefore, I would like to inform that amendments and improvements will be made to the Companies Act 2016 and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 to identify the real owners of shares in the company, especially those under nominee holding,” he added. — Bernama

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