Friday, July 17, 2020

Household Poverty Line Income(PLI) increased to RM2,208 finally? What about individual and Family PLI? Is RM2,208 enough?

Finally and justly, Malaysia has raised the POVERTY LINE INCOME (PLI) but wait, it is the poverty line income of the HOUSEHOLD > not the individual.

HOUSEHOLD does not anymore mean just the family > it means everyone living in a house. So, 10 workers earning RM500 monthly, would be considered an household earning RM5,000 > thus this may not be a poor household.

Working adult children continue to live with their parents because they simply cannot afford the rental/cost of their own home > Household?

We need to know the PLI of a family (husband, wife and 3-4 non working children). 

HOUSEHOLD - well the definition now has changed - it is no more with regard to the family unit (plus extended family members)

Description 2A household is defined as a person or group of related or unrelated persons who usually live together and make common provisions for food and other essentials of living and sleep in the selected living quarters for at least 16 nights during the reference month. An exception is made in the case of fisherman, long distance taxi and express bus drivers and loggers who are considered as household members regardless of wether they slept in the living quarters or not.
Source : Prices Source Detail : Report On Household Expenditure Survey Malaysia - Department of Statistics Website 

Transparency with regard to poverty reporting -  In the past, many a time what is provided is just the MEAN household income or the MEDIAN household income, which is not good enough.

If there are 10 households, and one household earns RM100k per month, whilst the 9 other household earns RM1,000 per month, the MEAN household monthly income would be RM10,900.

MEDIAN - well, if we look at 5 households, 1st was RM100k, 2nd was RM20k, 3rd was RM10k, 4th was RM1k and the 5th was RM500, the MEDIAN would be RM10k.

We need actual figures of how many individuals or families are poor? earning below the poverty line income?

Government may deceive to prove that it is doing a 'good job' in combating poverty and thus the real TRUTH could be hidden.

Finally Malaysia, amended its poverty line income BUT only as a response to the UN report - why could they not have done so honestly before? BN? PH?

RM2,208 - is this even realistic? Well, let us consider KL and the Klang Valley, how much does it even cost a family to rent a home? or make the monthly bank payments? Surely much more than RM1,000? What about the cost of transport/monthly vehicle loan payments? Let's say the cost of a meal is RM5 per person, and we have a family of 5(3 kids), that is RM25 per meal, RM50 for 2 meals - RM1,500 per month? Electricity/Phone(Internet)/Astro/Water/etc ... what do you think? Is RM2,208 a realistic poverty line income for Malaysia?

Maybe we should have a different 'poverty line income' depending on regions, urban or rural, etc...?

Since ethnicity is important for Malaysia - maybe clear figures of poverty rate of the Malays, Ibans, Kenyah, Kadazan/Dusun, Indian Malaysians, Chinese Malaysians, Indonesian Malaysians, etc should be given? Lumping Malays and other indigenous/native and others under Bumiputra may be misleading - maybe it is no more the Malays who are having the higher number of poor(or absolute poor), it could now be maybe some native group in Sabah or Sarawak or the orang asli.

WHO are the poor changes - maybe the government to keep a more up to date record of poverty should require every adult Malaysian to submit INCOME TAX RETURNS every year - that way, it becomes easier to actually access who is poor and who is not. Wrong to waste monies assisting the wrong 'poor' who may really be rich.

A government is RESPONSIBLE for all its citizens > and as such, serious financial assistance must be provided monthly and directly to the poor (and/or the absolute poor).

PENSION FOR ALL is also needed, to help the workers that have retired(or past retirement age) - now only the civil service gets monthly pensions until they die(and thereafter a reduced pension to their spouses). LUMP sum payments do not work - we need regular pensions for all. Many countries have such schemes - and it is time for Malaysians also to enjoy this benefit

See earlier related posts:- 

Statistics Dept: Malaysia’s new poverty line income is RM2,208, over 400k households considered poor

In announcing the new national poverty line income (PLI), Malaysia’s chief statistician Datuk Seri Mohd Uzir Mahidin explained that the new figure was obtained based on changes in methodology that now emphasised healthy eating and quality basic needs. ― Picture by Hari Anggara
In announcing the new national poverty line income (PLI), Malaysia’s chief statistician Datuk Seri Mohd Uzir Mahidin explained that the new figure was obtained based on changes in methodology that now emphasised healthy eating and quality basic needs. ― Picture by Hari Anggara
KUALA LUMPUR, July 10 — Malaysia revised the national poverty line income from RM980 to RM2,208, which means that over 400,000 households in the country with monthly incomes below this level were considered poor in 2019, the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) revealed today.

Based on the new poverty line income, DOSM said Malaysia’s poverty levels have fallen in 2019, when compared to the last available figures in 2016.

In announcing the new national poverty line income (PLI), Malaysia’s chief statistician Datuk Seri Mohd Uzir Mahidin explained that the new figure was obtained based on changes in methodology that now emphasised healthy eating and quality basic needs.

He said the DOSM worked with various stakeholders including the Health Ministry to revise the national PLI, following the 11th Malaysia Plan’s launch where it was stated that there was a need for Malaysia to review its poverty level indicator.

The previous 2005 methodology, which determined the national PLI of RM980, was based on the minimum food requirements of each household member and 106 non-food items based on the spending patterns of the country’s bottom 20 per cent group (B20) in the 2004/2005 household expenditure survey.

In contrast, the new 2019 methodology which determined the national PLI of RM2,208 was based on optimum food requirements and healthy eating, as well as 146 non-food items from the B20 households’ spending pattern in the 2019 household expenditure survey.

“From the aspect of food items before this we looked more towards the concept of ‘minimum’, but this time we stress on the discussion with the Health Ministry — optimum and healthy and quality, and it is based on the 2017 Recommended Nutrient Intake and the Malaysian Dietary Guidelines,” he explained at a press conference today.

Under the new methodology, calculations for the food component of the PLI are now based on servings according to food categories that are converted to price, instead of the previous methodology based on the individual’s calories requirements.

The recommended food servings include fish, poultry, meat, cereal, bread, rice, eggs, vegetables and milk.

As for non-food items, those covered are clothing and shoes; housing, fuel and utilities; furniture; transport and communications; education and health.

What the new PLI means for Malaysia

Based on the new 2019 methodology, the national mean poverty line income for households in Malaysia in 2019 is RM2,208 per month (with RM1,169 for food and RM1,038 for non-food items).
(The RM2,208 figure was obtained by dividing the overall PLI value in each household with the total number of households in Malaysia, DOSM said.)

Also based on the new 2019 methodology, the national mean PLI in 2016 is RM2,141.

By using the new methodology, Malaysia’s absolute poverty rate would be recorded as improving from 7.61 per cent in 2016 to 5.6 per cent in 2019. This would translate into a decrease in households considered poor, namely a drop from 525,743 households falling below the poverty line in 2016 to 405,441 households in 2019.

Size matters when it comes to poverty, with 70.4 per cent of the 405,441 poor households having more than four household members, while 13.3 per cent of these households had four household members, DOSM’s data showed.

Age was also looked at, with the highest percentage of poor households recorded among households with the head of the family aged 45 to 49 (16.3 per cent), followed by those aged 40 to 44 (15.4 per cent) and 50 to 54 (13.1 per cent), with DOSM also noting that those with household heads aged 65 and above recording incidence of poverty at 12 per cent in 2019.

When it comes to absolute poverty levels in the different states in 2019, the highest levels were recorded in Sabah (19.5 per cent), Kelantan (12.4 per cent), Sarawak (9 per cent), Kedah (8.8 per cent), Perak (7.3 per cent), and Terengganu (6.1 per cent). The other states were below the national absolute poverty level of 5.6 per cent, namely Negri Sembilan and Pahang (4.3 per cent), Melaka, Perlis and Johor (3.9 per cent), Labuan (3.1 per cent), Penang (1.9 per cent), Selangor (1.2 per cent), Putrajaya (0.4 per cent), and Kuala Lumpur (0.2 per cent).

The new methodology would also translate to a decrease in absolute poverty in Malaysia’s urban and rural areas to 3.8 per cent and 12.4 per cent in 2019, down from 4.8 per cent and 17.5 per cent in 2016 when the new methodology was used on 2016 figures, DOSM said.

As for hardcore poverty, it would also improve from 0.62 per cent in 2016 to 0.4 per cent in 2019, based on the new methodology. This would translate into a decrease in the number of hardcore poor households, from 45,004 households in 2016 to 27,158 households in 2019.

What if the old methodology was used?

In contrast, the DOSM showed that using the 2005 methodology — which had only minimum food requirements instead of optimum and healthy food requirements — would result in a national PLI of RM983 in 2019 and RM980 in 2016. (The food component of the PLI would have come up to more than RM600, while the non-food component would have come up to more than RM300.)

The old methodology would have resulted in Malaysia’s absolute poverty rate being recorded at 0.4 per cent in 2016 and 0.2 per cent in 2019, or just 24,673 households in 2016 and just 16,653 households in 2019 being officially considered poor.

The old 2005 methodology would also have translated into zero levels of hardcore poverty being recorded in 2016, and just 0.02 per cent or 1,752 households considered as being hardcore poor in 2019. - Malay Mail, 10/7/2020

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