Malaysian ringgit. Wikimedia Commons

The New Straits Times-Oct 17

Out of seven million Malaysian households, one million are relatively poor. Taking four persons to be the size of a Malaysian household, there are four million relatively poor people in the country. This worrying statistics come bound in Khazanah Research Institute’s (KRI) The State of Households 2018 report. How bad is the “relative poverty”? It is really bad if we look at the numbers behind the narrative. The Bottom 40 (B40) households earning an income of below RM2,000 were left with only RM76 after expenses. Those earning below RM5,000 are not faring much better. The Middle 40 (M40), as they are labelled, are trapped in the middle. They are cutting back on consumption, though inflation has forced them to spend more. The B40 and M40 groups, it seems, are getting less bang for the buck they are spending.

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First published in: The New Straits Times