KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 16 — The government will update the poverty line (PGK) income based on the findings of the Household Income, Expenditure and Basic Amenities Survey (HIES/BA) 2022 which is being carried out by the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM), said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

He said the survey which is aimed at studying and providing information on household income and expenditure patterns as well as poverty statistics, especially poverty rates up to the administrative district level, is expected to be published in March next year.

He said the survey was launched early this year and will be conducted for a year involving 92,000 selected households.

“It will take into account income, expenditure, demand patterns and prices of goods and services including the impact of the increase in the cost of living,” he said at the Dewan Negara sitting today.

He was responding to a question from Senator Datuk Koh Nai Kwong who wanted to know the government’s plan to recalculate the value of PGK by taking into account people’s income, savings, education, health, and other dimensions after the country’s transition into endemic phase.

Mustapa said the Implementation Coordination Unit (ICU) of the Prime Minister’s Department also collects poverty data based on the eKasih system, adding that as of July 31, 136,923 households are in the extreme poor category while 308,699 households are categorised as poor.

“ICU collects this data in collaboration with district and state government offices. Data cleanup is being carried out from time to time,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said the PGK has increased to RM2,208 per month in 2019 in contrast to RM980 per month in 2016.

He said the household income for the extreme poor stood at RM1,169 per month in 2019, adding that the absolute poverty rate was 5.6 per cent and the extreme poor was 0.4 per cent in 2019.

“The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have caused the rate of absolute poverty and extreme poverty to increase to 8.4 per cent and 1.0 per cent respectively in 2020,” he said.

Mustapa also said the country’s relative poverty rate stood at 16.2 per cent in 2020.

Elaborating, he said relative poverty measures the number of households earning below 50 per cent of the median income of RM5,209 per month.

The government also measures poverty using the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) to include other dimensions such as education, health, living standards and income, he said.


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