Malaysia’s poverty rate is at all-time low, still room for improvement


Poverty in Malaysia is a highly-controversial economic issue. However, over the years, the nation’s incidence of poverty experiences a positive outlook; decreasing from 2.24% in 2014 to 1.69 in 2016.


Statistics above shows the number of incidences of poverty by administrative district. In Peninsular Malaysia, Kuala Pilah of Negeri Sembilan recorded the highest poverty rate at 2.3% in 2016 followed by Hulu Perak district at 1.6% for the same year.


Meanwhile, in east Malaysia, Sabah specifically in Tongod experiences the worst case of poverty at 14.6%. However, if we look at the whole Sabah itself, the state had shown improvements in its poverty rate significantly dropping from 19.7% in 2009 to 2.9% in 2016.


Overall, reduction in the incidence of poverty has reduced in both rural and urban areas in 2014-2016. For a developing country like Malaysia, this is a good sign. However, acknowledgement alone is not enough, there is a need to have a proper, needs-based policies in making sure that they fall into the poverty trap again.