The government aims to eliminate hardcore poverty by 2025 by focusing on 2.9 million B40 households with monthly incomes of below RM4,850 in the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP).
According to the 12MP document issued by the Economic Planning Unit today, special attention will be given to the poorest districts and locations in urban and rural areas in order to eradicate poverty and reduce household inequality.
In addressing poverty and building an inclusive society, the government outlined six priority areas namely addressing poverty and narrowing inequality from a multidimensional perspective; empowering the B40; supporting the M40 towards an equitable society; achieving an equitable outcome for the Bumiputera; enhancing the development of the Orang Asli community; and empowering specific target groups.
Among the strategies for addressing poverty and narrowing inequality from a multidimensional perspective are increasing the income of the poor and addressing the quality of life of the urban poor.
Through the strategies, a total of 50,000 poor households will benefit from the continuation of the housing assistance programme aimed at repairing dilapidated houses while an additional 500,000 affordable houses will be constructed to provide quality and decent housing for the group.
During the 11MP, the country recorded an increase in the mean monthly income of B40 households from RM2,848 in 2016 to RM3,152 in 2019. However, the overall Gini coefficient increased to 0.407 from 0.399, reflecting a widening income inequality gap.
According to the document, the multidimensional poverty index (MPI) which measures poverty based on four dimensions namely income, education, health and living standards, improved from 0.015 in 2016 to 0.011 in 2019.
The 12MP also focuses on the M40 as one of the priority areas to create a just society by outlining four strategies: boosting income, improving access to quality and affordable education, encouraging health and employment protection, and increasing housing ownership.
The document states that in line with the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030, concerted efforts will be made in support of the commitment to make Malaysia a developed and prosperous country with fair and equitable distribution of wealth.
In the document, six strategies were also formulated to empower specific target groups, namely children, youth, women, the elderly and the disabled and families.