The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) World Factbook 2017 has reported that Malaysia’s poverty rate is the lowest when compared with other Southeast Asian countries, says Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak.

He said Malaysia’s poverty rate was just 3.8% compared with Vietnam and Indonesia (11.3%), Thailand (12.6%), Laos (22%), the Philippines (25.2%) and Myanmar (32.7 %).

“If compared with other countries with a high poverty line like Syria (82.5%), Madagascar (75.3%) and Zimbabwe (72.3%), I feel grateful for Malaysia’s success in ensuring the well-being of the people,” he said on his blog today.

According to the report, he said, Malaysia’s per capita gross domestic product (GDP) was US$27,200, which was far better than that of its regional peers such as Thailand (US$16,800), Indonesia (US$11,700), the Philippines (US$7,700), Vietnam (US$6,400), Myanmar (US$6,000) and Laos (US$5,700).

Salleh said Malaysia’s success differed from the perception of certain quarters who felt the country had been left behind, adding that the current data clearly showed it had achieved a level of economic growth that was very good in contrast to neighbouring countries.

“Samuel P Huntington in his book, ‘Political Order in Changing Societies’, said one way of evaluating the political development of a country is to watch its economic growth.

“The index of measurement he used was per capita income and the poverty line,” Salleh said.

He expressed confidence that through the government’s efforts at making Malaysia a high-income nation, 2018 would promise a better outcome for the lives of the people.

 -BERNAMA

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