KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15 — The average income for rural households rose by 34.5 per cent in a period of 17 years, Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said.
In addition, data from the Malaysian Statistics Department also indicated that individual income in rural areas rose from RM1,729 in 2002 to RM5,004 in 2019, he said.
Rural households also recorded a rise in water supply to houses from 74.7 per cent in 2000 to 84.9 per cent in 2019, while electricity supply coverage increased from 84.6 per cent in 2000 to almost 99 per cent in 2019.
“This is proof that efforts by the Rural Development Ministry were successful and capable of increasing the quality and living standards of rural residents,” he said in a statement after an engagement session with MPs at the Parliament building today.
The engagement session is an initiative by the ministry that briefs MPs about the ministry’s direction and development plans for the upcoming year, and aims to garner their support for ministry programmes.
Mahdzir said data from the Communications and Multimedia Ministry (KKMM) showed internet coverage in rural areas was at 83.9 per cent.
The Rural Development Ministry received RM10.53 billion in allocations under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) for 2022, including RM3.52 billion for administration expenses and RM7.01 billion for development.
According to Mahdzir, the ministry’s focus is on programmes that can boost the economic standards of rural households that have been severely hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“A total of RM2.44 billion has been allocated for rural infrastructure projects in 2022. The ministry will continue efforts to increase service delivery to rural areas, along with the continued implementation of infrastructure projects,” he added. — Bernama