KUALA LUMPUR – The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), World Factbook 2017 has reported that Malaysia’s poverty rate is the lowest when compared to other Southeast Asian countries, said Communications and Multimedia Minister, Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak.
He said it was just 3.8 per cent compared to Vietnam and Indonesia (11.3 per cent), Thailand (12.6 per cent) , Laos (22 per cent), the Philippines (25.2 per cent) and Myanmar (32.7 per cent).
“If compared to other countries with a high poverty line like Syria (82.5 per cent), Madagascar (75.3 per cent) and Zimbabwe (72.3 per cent), I feel grateful over Malaysia’s success in ensuring the well-being of the people,” he said on his blog, sskeruak.blogspot.my., today.
He also said the report highlighted that Malaysia’s per capita Gross Domestic product was US$27,200, which was far better than those of its regional peers 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 stressed that Malaysia’s success was different from the perception of certain quarters who felt the country had been left behind, but, 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,” he added.
Salleh expressed confidence that through the government’s efforts at making Malaysia a high income nation, 2018 promises a better outcome for the lives of the people.