Poverty rate in Sarawak reduced to 0.3 per cent in 2019

Abang Johari delivering his winding-up speech on Sarawak Budget 2021 at DUN Complex today (Nov 13, 2020).

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By Ling Hui

KUCHING, Nov 13: Data from Department of Statistics Malaysia shows that the poverty rate in Sarawak has been effectively reduced over the years.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said data shows that based on Poverty Line Income (PLI) 2004 of RM 765, poverty rate in Sarawak has been reduced from 21 per cent in 1989 to 6.7 per cent in 1999, and further reduced to 0.3 per cent in 2019.

“There is also a generous drop in poverty rate based on the latest PLI 2019 of RM2,131, which calculated a decrease from 11.9 per cent in 2016 to 9 per cent in 2019,” Abang Johari, who is Finance Minister said when delivering his winding-up speech on State Budget 2021 at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting today.

Though the state government’s poverty eradication programmes have proven to be effective from the data, he agreed that continuous help needs to be provided to this vulnerable group of people.

“For this reason, we (state government) will intensify our intervention by bringing them into mainstream of development through physical connectivity, improve their skills and create more income generation activities.

“Furthermore in Budget 2021, my administration will also give special attention to implement social safety net programmes.

“Substantial amount has been allocated to implement these programmes covering a whole spectrum of our society in particular the less privileged,” he explained.

He said these safety net initiatives including micro-business development programmes will help to replace loss of income for poor households and enterprising individuals, on top of countering the economic drag of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This is what a caring government does, protecting those most in need, and giving them a helping hand to recover from the crisis,” said Abang Johari as he addressed Kota Sentosa assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen who raised his concern on the poverty rate in Sarawak. — DayakDaily