Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Indian households monthly income = RM3,456-00 ????

One wonders how many Indian households enjoy an income of
RM3,456 a month.The only explanation of this figure is that we have a few rather rich Indian households (like the Ananda Krishnan family, the Samy Velu family, that Air Asia fellow's family) that has pushed the average Indian household income.WHY CAN'T THEY GIVE US FIGURES OF ACTUAL NUMBERS OF HOUSEHOLDS THAT HAVE AN AVERAGE INCOME OF RM3,546-OO PER MONTH AND HOW MANY FAMILIES EARN LESS.

We also need to know the number of income earners in each family - there can sometimes be more that 2 income earners per family - and the reason for this is "poverty" or maybe just culture - because adult working children, not being able to earn enough to have their own home continue to stay on in the household of their parents, or other siblings or relatives - this again will give a distorted figure.

Interestingly there is finally an admission
that Malaysia's Gini coefficient which measures income inequality within a population is at 0.46 -- the highest in the region while poorer countries like Indonesia, Vietnam and Laos have lower scales.Malaysia's has the highest gap between the rich and poor - hence the highest inequality with regard to wealth/income distribution - EMBARASSING.

One way of bringing down poverty is reduce the scale - say previously it was those earning below RM100 are poor - then to reduce to just re-define and say that persons earning below RM50 are poor - WOW - a miracle for the poverty
level in the country has gone down.

Another way is to keep the figure unreasonably low not taking into account increasing cost of living and inflation. That way we get a low poverty rate statistically - but not the TRUTH.

We have today a government interested in the big companies making money - and not individual persons and families.

No truth Indians are poorest community

Wednesday, 12 December 2007, 08:13am

Datuk Dr Sulaiman Mahbob© New Straits Times

by K. Vatsala Devi

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The Hindu Rights Action Front's (Hindraf) claims that the Indians are the poorest community in Malaysia are false.

Instead, statistics show that Bumiputeras have the lowest monthly average household income compared to the other two main races in the country, the Indians and the Chinese.

Economic Planning Unit (EPU) director-general, Datuk Dr Sulaiman Mahbob said that the average household income for Indians in 2004 stood at RM3,456 a month, while Bumiputeras only had a monthly average household income of RM2,711. For the Chinese, monthly average household income was at RM4,437.

Sulaiman said that the poorest people were the indigenous communities living in Sabah, Sarawak and the rural populations in Terengganu, Kelantan and Kedah.

"The poverty rate in our country was 5.7 per cent in 2004 and we plan to reduce this figure to 2.85 per cent by 2010, and to fully eradicate hardcore poverty by 2010," Sulaiman said at the start of a three-day international conference on poverty and income inequality in the 21st century.

Sulaiman also said that a high level of inequality contributed to a high level of poverty since only a smaller share of income was obtained by those at the bottom of the income distribution.

poverty indices "Moves to counter the inequality are already in motion and it will reach out to everyone who fall under the 5.7 per cent category," he said while stressing that eradication of poverty is irrespective of races.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) resident representative for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam, Dr Richard Leete, said that one reason why households remained in poverty was the demographic trap.

"Poverty is often associated with demographic patterns, and in rural areas and least developed states, families have a higher number of children.

"And in such situations, adequate human capital, education, good nutrition and health cannot be provided and they appear to be locked in an intergenerational cycle of poverty," said Leete.

Thus with the launching of the publication Malaysia: Measuring and Monitoring Poverty and Inequality, poverty levels can be identified in a micro level with a detailed analysis.

The book which is a joint effort by EPU and UNDP determines the poverty levels among sub-groups of the population such as children and women.

Sulaiman also said that poverty rate, on a macro level, had gone down significantly, and it was now important to look at grassroots level to eradicate poverty completely.

"Malaysia has managed to reduce the incidence of poverty and income inequality while achieving rapid economic growth and maintaining racial harmony.

"But now there is a need to go lower and examine the profile of people who fall under the 5.7 per cent category, identify who they are and find out the reason they live in poverty," he said.

Sulaiman, in his opening address had also said that Malaysia's Gini coefficient which measures income inequality within a population is at 0.46 -- the highest in the region while poorer countries like Indonesia, Vietnam and Laos have lower scales.

The International Poverty Conference: Poverty and Inequality in the 21st Century, which ends tomorrow, aims to address poverty and inequality within Malaysia and beyond.

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