Malaysia's absolute poverty rate stood at 5.6 as of 2019, with the majority of those in this category from the Bumiputera community, Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli said today.
Speaking in the Dewan Rakyat, Rafizi said the poverty rate for Bumiputeras was 7.2%, followed by the Indians (4.8%) and the Chinese (1.4%).
"Absolute poverty is measured through the poverty line income or PGK," he said.
"This refers to the level of monthly household income needed to meet the minimum needs for each member of the family to live a healthy and active life."
Rafizi was responding to Muhammad Fawwaz Mohamad Jan (PN-Permatang Pauh), who had asked for the poverty rate according to race, religion and state.
Rafizi, the Pandan MP, said hardcore poor referred to those with PGKs of less than RM1,169 while those in absolute poverty had an income of less than RM2,208.
He said this was based on the survey of income, household expenditure and basic facilities carried out five times a year.
Rafizi also said that RM750 million had been set aside for the People's Income Initiative as part of efforts to improve the capabilities of the B40 group.
Three programmes are involved: the farmer entrepreneur initiative, the food entrepreneur initiative, and the service operator initiative.