Posts Tagged ‘Poverty’

Poverty and Gini reduced, average household income increased but…

March 28th, 2013
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Good news indeed, right? I’m sure no one will be unhappy to hear that poverty is reduced. That will contribute a lot towards reducing crime and social problems (barring foreigners-linked ones).

Average household income increases..definitely good news for businessmen as family should have more purchasing power. Can go for movies at cinema, buy more books, enjoy eating out with family once in a while, go on short domestic holiday (hey, maybe even overseas with Everyone Can Fly!), take up some insurance policy, send kids to tuition, renovate house…whoa the list can go on and on. Our household income increased by nearly RM1000 in 3 years (2009-2012), from RM4025 to RM5000 per month. That’s a annual growth of 7.2% it says. The urban household (with more than 2/3 of Malaysians living in urban area) grew 6.6% per annum from RM4,705 a month in 2009 to RM5,742 in 2012, while rural household income grew 6.4% a year from a monthly average of RM2,545 in 2009 to RM3,080 in 2012. (Questions whether its enough to buy a house is not relevant). So, how many of your got a average 7% increase in income per year? Should be a lot of us, right?

And what about the Gini coefficient? Basically, the lower the value of Gini, the better it is because it portrays the inequality of wealth distribution (higher value means rich becoming richer, poor becoming poorer). We registered a drop of 0.01, from 0.441 to 0.431. So the gap between Ananda Khrishnan and myself has been reduced, well probably a miniscule amount, but still REDUCED! 🙂

So, what is the definition of being poor? Want to check out an old article of mine about Budget 2013? Not so old actually.

Ok, let’s read the article from Star below and feel an unexplainable pleasure. Then proceed to article  that appears after that.

Malaysia more than halved its poverty statistics over the past three years, with the number of poor people now standing at less than 110,000 nationwide, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop.

He said the country’s overall poverty rate dropped to 1.7% in 2012, compared to 3.8% in 2009.

“With this achievement, the target under the 10th Malaysia Plan to reduce overall po­verty to 2% in 2015 has been achieved three years earlier.

“This is a result of rapid economic development and the effectiveness of poverty eradication programmes carried out by the Go­­vernment,” he said at a press conference to announce the findings of the 2012 National Household Income Study here.

He said the fall in incidences of poverty happened in both urban and rural areas, with urban poverty falling to just 1% last year compared to 1.7% in 2009, while rural areas registered a significant drop from 8.4% in 2009 to just 3.4% in 2012.

Sabah registered the biggest reduction in poverty from 19.7% of the population in 2009 to 8.1% three years later.

The minister said all states registered a reduction in poverty rates, with marked improvements in Penang, Selangor, Malacca and the federal territories – all of which ave­raged 0% hardcore poor in their areas as at 2012.

“This is proof that the Federal Government’s initiatives to eradicate poverty have succeeded and been of benefit to the rakyat regardless of differences in political ideology,” he said.

Meanwhile, Malaysians enjoyed an annual increase of 7.2% to their average household income over the 2009-2012 period, or a nearly a RM1,000 hike in their average monthly income from RM4,025 in 2009 to RM5,000 in 2012.

Despite similar growth rates, urban household income grew at 6.6% per annum from RM4,705 a month in 2009 to RM5,742 in 2012 while rural household income went up at a rate of 6.4% a year from a monthly average of RM2,545 in 2009 to RM3,080 in 2012.

Despite this, he added that Malaysia still improved on wealth distribution, having secured a lower score of 0.431 on its “Gini coefficient” (a system to measure inequality in wealth distribution) in 2012, compared to 0.441 in 2009.



OK, so you are feeling happy and blissful already? Great! Now, let’s come down to earth a bit by reading how poverty line is calculated and what’s the current figures are:

Sesebuah isi rumah adalah dianggap sebagai miskin tegar sekiranya pendapatan bulanan isi rumah tersebut adalah kurang daripada Paras Garis Kemiskinan (PGK) makanan, iaitu pendapatan yang mencukupi bagi membolehkan isi rumah tersebut memenuhi keperluan asas dari segi nutrisi makanan yang minimum yang membolehkan setiap ahlinya mempunyai tubuh badan yang sihat.

PLI miskin tegar adalah diukur berdasarkan kepada komposisi demografi ahli isi rumah iaitu bilangan isi rumah, umur dan jantina bagi menentukan keperluan diet atau kalori (Keperluan Harian Diperlukan atau Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) 2004, Kementerian Kesihatan dan Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia). PLI juga mengambil kira harga jualan semasa bagi membeli keperluan harian tersebut berdasarkan lokasi mengikut Negeri dan Strata (Bandar atau Luar Bandar). PLI akan dikira berdasarkan kepada keperluan setiap isi rumah dan Indeks Harga Pengguna atau Consumer Price Index (CPI) makanan.

Keperluan Kalori bagi setiap isi rumah dikira berdasarkan kepada struktur demografi setiap isi rumah seperti umur, berat, jantina dan kadar metabolasi badan atau basal metabolic rate (BMR) mengikut paras aktiviti fizikal atau physical activity level (PAL) setiap isi rumah.

Sejumlah 8,725 kalori setiap hari adalah diperlukan (untuk 5 Orang setiap isi rumah) berdasarkan kepada 7 kategori makanan yang meliputi 13 jenis makanan iaitu :

  • nasi;
  • tepung gandum;
  • biskut;
  • ayam;
  • telur;
  • ikan;
  • susu;
  • minyak masak;
  • majerin;
  • gula;
  • buah-buahan;
  • sayur-sayuran; dan
  • kacang.

(Berdasarkan kepada Komposisi Nutrisi Makanan Malaysia, IMR 1997)

Sehubungan itu, merujuk kepada Unit Perancang Ekonomi, Paras Garis Kemiskinan Tahun 2009 selaras dengan Rancangan Ekonomi Kesepuluh (RMK-10),Paras Garis Kemiskinan (PGK) makanan yang telah ditetapkan untuk isi rumah miskin tegar berdasarkan kepada kiraan di atas adalah RM460.00 seisi rumah.

Definisi Miskin

Sesebuah isi rumah adalah dianggap miskin sekiranya pendapatan bulanan isi rumah tersebut adalah kurang daripada Paras Garis Kemiskinan (PGK), iaitu pendapatan yang mencukupi bagi membolehkan isi rumah tersebut memenuhi keperluan asas dari segi makanan dan bukan makanan yang membolehkan setiap ahlinya berfungsi di dalam masyarakat.

PLI bukan makanan adalah manggunakan kiraan Bank Dunia di dalam menentukan keperluan minima perkhidmatan dan bukan makanan. Keperluan ini dikira berdasarkan kepada perbelanjaan keseluruhan isi rumah dengan mengambil kira PLI makanan (isi rumah yang berada pada jurang 10% di atas dan 10% di bawah PLI makanan). Ini akan menunjukkan jumlah perbelanjaan sebenar termasuk komponen bukan makanan untuk membolehkan sesebuah isi rumah tersbut berfungsi di dalam masyarakat.

PLI akan dikira berdasarkan kepada keperluan setiap isi rumah dan Indeks Harga Pengguna atau Consumer Price Index (CPI) makanan dan bukan makanan mengikut Negeri dan Strata (Bandar dan LuarBandar).

PLI bukan makanan akan mengambil kira keperluan asas seperti berikut:

  • Pakaian;
  • Sewa, Minyak dan Elektrik;
  • Perkhidmatan asas;
  • Pengangkutan dan komunikasi; dan
  • Lain-Lain

Sehubungan itu, merujuk kepada Unit Perancang Ekonomi, Paras Garis Kemiskinan Tahun 2009 selaras dengan Rancangan Ekonomi Kesepuluh (RMK-10), Paras Garis Kemiskinan (PGK) makanan dan bukan makanan yang telah ditetapkan untuk isi rumah miskin berdasarkan kepada kiraan di atas adalah RM760.00 seisi rumah.



So, poverty rate is RM760 per month per household of 5 person. Low income household is a bit unclear, with values of <1500, <2000, and even <3000 being stated.

Question is, is RM760 a valid figure to define poverty line? Maybe the mechanism stated above needs to revisited immediately so that our statistics are not made to be laughing stock.

If our poverty line is increased to RM2000, poverty rate can be as high as 33%! Interesting right?

Our average household income had increased and our inflation rate still steady at below 2% and its expected to continue at that range for 2013, says our Deputy Finance Minister. Check out CPI trend at . Questions do arise, is an average income of RM5,000 per household (5 people) per month sufficient especially in urban areas?

You may want to read the following articles as well:


Supermum Devigi

September 4th, 2012
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husband has heart disease, brother-in-law bedridden, sister-in-law a diabetic, and all 3 kids having muscular dystrophy, but she didn’t give up!


THERE were several times when S. Devigi wanted to commit suicide after all three of her children were diagnosed with muscular dystrophy.

But her determination to provide the best for them stopped her.

“I don’t know how I got through it.

“I remember selling fried rice, noodles and thosai at night to pay for my children’s medical and educational expenses.

“It was a harrowing experience. I had thought about taking my own life but could not do it when I see my children’s faces,” said the teary-eyed Devigi when met at their dilapidated house at the JKR quarters.

Apart from taking care of her children, Devigi is also looking after her husband, V. Ugjayan, 52, who suffers from a heart disease, her bedridden brother-in-law and a diabetic sister-in-law.

However, the 53-year-old woman, dubbed as the “supermum” is now a happy mother.

Proud moment : (from left) Zuraidah, Devigi, her husband Ugjayan, Dr Rajendran and two other representatives of the NCM posing with a mock cheque with Devigi’s children on the wheelchair- (from left) Abby, Meghala and Gopi.Proud moment : (from left) Zuraidah, Devigi, her husband Ugjayan, Dr Rajendran and two other representatives of the NCM posing with a mock cheque with Devigi’s children on the wheelchair- (from left) Abby, Meghala and Gopi.

Her children, Nyanamambiga @ Abby, 27, Meghala, 26, and Gopi, 24, are all independent and are helping with the family’s expenses.

Abby works part-time as an executive administrator at the college where she is pursuing a Business degree, while Meghala designs greeting cards and sells them online.

Gopi, meanwhile, works part-time as a deejay at wedding receptions.

The family’s household income has now increased to between RM1,000 and RM1,500 compared to the few hundred ringgit Devigi earned in the past.

“I am happy to see my children earning money despite being wheelchair-bound.

“Thank God I did not give up and continued to fight,” Devigi said.

Devigi, who has stopped working, is now saving up to build a house on her husband’s land in Sungai Manggis, Banting.

The family is still in need of about RM60,000 to build the house.

Prof Dr M. Rajendran, who handles the family’s trust fund, said RM97,000 had since been collected from kind donors.

“Many have contributed to Devigi after her plight was highlighted by The Star.

The Star is one of the contibutors to Devigi’s family,” he said.

Northport Corporation Berhad (NCB) Holdings Bhd donated RM20,000 to the family recently.

Its director Datuk Zuraidah Atan, who handed over a mock cheque to Devigi, said the effort was part of NCB’s corporate social responsibility.

In March this year, The Star had highlighted Devigi’s life story, calling her a supermum for single-handedly taking care of her loved ones.

For information, contact Dr Rajendran at 012-229 4518.


Application for Rm500 Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia extended to February 10

January 13th, 2012
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Good news to those who missed the application for Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia. The deadline has been extended by another month, to February 10.

Want to know how to apply, how’s eligible etc? Refer to my earlier post here:  Apply RM500 Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia

The deadline for the public to submit the application form for the RM500 Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) scheme has been extended to Feb 10.

Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah said the form could be submitted at all Inland Revenue Board (IRB) offices and agencies handling the aid.

The one-month extension came following appeals from those who were unable to submit the form by Tuesday.

The forms had been distributed since last month to assist households earning below RM3,000 a month.

Ahmad Husni said successful applicants would be given vouchers which they could cash at all Bank Simpanan Nasional, CIMB and Maybank branches.

“The distribution will begin on Sunday and is expected to take two months for completion.

“During the period, successful applicants will receive letters informing them of the dates and venues of the voucher presentations.

“The banks will also provide mobile counters for recipients to cash the vouchers which are valid until April 15,” he said.

Ahmad Husni said besides the letters, applicants could also check their application status by calling the hotline 1-800-222-500 and 1-300-88-3010 beginning Monday.

The hotline will operate between 9am and 5pm on working days.

Unsuccessful applicants can appeal by filling a special form available all IRB offices and the selected agencies.

The form can also be downloaded from the Finance Ministry’s

As of Tuesday, 3,102,054 applications had been approved from 4,123,713 forms received.

“The rest are being processed,” he said.


Apply RM500 Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia

December 12th, 2011
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The Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) whereby households with monthly income of RM3000 and below can get RM500 one-time payment is out since 10 December. Those interested can download the form from Treasury website at:  or LHDN offices as well selected location like some schools.


Need help understanding if you are eligible or not? refer the below diagram:

Note that need to submit copy of your MyKad and also payslip (if have). And those registered in e-Kasih also eligible.




Even if your married children stay with you and have their own income, you can still claim (and they also can claim) as long your income is below RM3000.

Single parents or those staying alone also can claim, as long as monthly income below RM3000.

You can also refer the document at: Mekanisma Bantuan RM500 9 Dis 2011 Edaran Laman Web


For help,  you can call/email:

Talian hotline : 1-800-222-500 (Bebas Tol)

Waktu operasi : 9.00 pagi hingga 5.00 petang (hari bekerja)

Emel :

Perkhidmatan mulai 7 Disember 2011 (Rabu)

Bilik Operasi Bajet
Aras 10, Blok Tengah
Kompleks Kementerian Kewangan Malaysia
1-800-222-500 (Hotline)
03-8882 3786 (Faks)

You can also refer to your MP or ADUN for the forms.

Hurry to register by end of the year 10 January 2012.


RRI Indian workers for generations!

November 29th, 2011
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Just imagine this, generation after generation working away, and now left with nothing. All this while, quarters provided, got salary, and enjoyed at relaxing environment, but their future is very bleak without ownership of house nor any suitable skills for uplifting their economic status. Can you imagine what is the fate of their kids?  Did the previous generations ever thought of getting out of the vicious cycle or were they ever given a chance to do so?

Can imagine similar scenario happening for estate workers.

Hopefully in this case, the government is able to provide the families a piece of land or other award for their hard work and loyalty.


THE 86-year-old Rubber Research Institute of Malaya (RRIM) in Sungai Buloh, Selangor, will soon make way for a new integrated development in the Klang Valley and the 300 workers out of the 660 are worried that they would be forced to relocate to other research stations in various states.

The 1,348ha site, owned by the Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB) since 1925, is expected to be become a commercial, residential and transport hub under a joint venture between the Federal Government and the Employees Provident Fund.

The workers will have to be relocated to other research stations in Sungai Sari in Kedah, Bukit Kuantan in Pahang and Kota Tinggi in Johor.

Solid foundation: One of the oldest houses still standing within the grounds of RRIM. The 70-year-old house is now abandoned after the family moved out.

Some 243ha would be retained for RRIM facilities, which will include the headquarters, Centre for Excellence that houses latest research and development amenities, a business cluster to encourage foreign investments, the Royal Commodity College trains workers for the industry and a museum.

The site is one of the federal assets to be redeveloped under the Greater Kuala Lumpur Strategic Development Project, an initiative under the 10th Malaysia Plan to revitalise the city.

A. Vellaiamah, 70, worked as a rubber tapper at RRIM for 41 years.

The mother of four is suffering from an enlarged thyroid and doctors had advised her not to go ahead with the surgery as there might be complications.

Three of her children have died of cancer.

Her father Ayamuthu was the only chief security guard at RRIM in the 1940s. Vellaiamah’s husband, Kandhasamy, was a chief driver here who died 26 years ago.

Her son, Gunasegaran, who represents the family’s fourth generation, now works at RRIM.

“My paternal grandmother worked as a rubber tapper, too. I have spent most of my life in this estate. I am sad with the impending development as that would mean we would be displaced to other states and my grandchildren won’t have the opportunity to work at RRIM.

“This place holds sentimental values for me because the Indian community are the ones who made RRIM what it is today. I consider my family to be one of the pioneers of RRIM,” she said.

For Vellaiamah, she will mostly miss working in the serene environment as well as the freedom for her three grandchildren to play at the football field and spend time with other kids at the RRIM quarters.

Rubber estate takes up 939ha while the remaining area houses nurseries, laboratories, midstream and downstream pilot plant factories and staff quarters, two schools (a Tamil and Islamic religious school), a mosque, a Hindu temple and recreational facilities.

All in the family: Janaky (back row, left) and her grandchildren S.Sangeetha (from left) S. Thanabalan, S. Tines, S. Thineswary and S. Arnin who are living at the RRIM quarters.

R. Janaky, 58, who works as a general worker, will be retiring next year but wants to extend her employment until the age of 60.

“I don’t know where they will post us to next. I have worked at RRIM for 31 years. My husband. a supervisor, has also just retired. My son works as a general worker at RRIM, so you can see the tradition we maintain in the family because we love working here.

“It is close to impossible to find a beautiful green lung like this in Klang Valley in this day and age. We would like to remain here and I hope the management will listen to our plight,” said the mother of five and grandmother to nine.

P. Chinna has a year before he retires from RRIM as a field recorder.

The 58-year-old is a third generation from his family working at the estate.

“My grandfather and father both worked at the RRIM experiment station in Sungai Buloh.

“I was born within the grounds of RRIM,” he said.

The father of three brought up his children on the estate.

“There are a lot of good memories and we have built precious relationships with the people here.

“I am just worried that couples who both work at RRIM will be relocated to different states which could disrupt their family union.

“The management should at least consider retaining about 80ha to house the workers. The relocation move could prove stressful to a lot of us,” said Ramasamy.