Survey shows country has achieved its poverty reduction target three years before 2015 deadline.
THE poverty levels among Bumiputeras, Chinese and Indians have gone down and their incomes have increased in the past three years.
This had led to the government achieving its 10th Malaysia Plan target of reducing overall poverty to two per cent, three years earlier than its projected 2015 deadline, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop when announcing the results of the Household Income Survey 2012, here yesterday.
He said the survey concluded that Bumiputeras saw a decline in poverty levels from 5.3 per cent in 2009 to 2.2 per cent last year.
Poverty among the Chinese reduced from 0.6 per cent in 2009 to 0.3 per cent last year, while poverty among Indians went down from 2.5 per cent to 1.8 per cent in the corresponding period.
"The average Bumiputera household income also grew by 6.9 per cent per annum to RM4,457 per month, whereas Chinese and Indian households increased by eight and nine per cent annually to RM6,355 and RM5,233, respectively."
The survey, he said, also showed that urban poverty had declined from 1.7 per cent in 2009 to one per cent last year, whereas poverty in rural areas also declined from 8.4 per cent to 3.4 per cent in the same period.
Overall poverty has been reduced from 3.8 per cent in 2009 to 1.7 per cent last year.
The poorest households category has also undergone a 52.7 per cent decrease from 228,400 to 108,000 within the same period.
Nor Mohamed also noted that Malaysian households now took home 7.2 per cent more income than three years ago.
The national average household income increased from RM4,045 in 2009 to RM5,000 last year, as announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak at the tabling of the National Transformation Programme Annual Report last week.
Nor Mohamed said the significant rise was due to the Federal Government's efforts in ensuring exponential and sustainable growth.
"This is a result of the rapid growth of the national economy and the effectiveness of the poverty eradication programme."
Urban households income, meanwhile, recorded a 6.6 per cent increase from RM4,705 monthly in 2009 to RM5,742 last year.
Households in rural areas had shown a similar increase with a 6.4 per cent rise from RM2,545 in 2009 to RM3,080 in 2012.
Nor Mohamed said the government viewed this as an achievement in encouraging the building of a robust economic roadmap for city areas that housed two-thirds (71 per cent) of the national population.
"The significant impact comes from widely increased economic opportunities, but is also an opportunity to generate new business and industrial development in various sectors of the economy.
"This proves the effectiveness of the implementation of the Federal Government initiatives launched through specific programmes under the 10th Malaysia Plan, Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), and the National Key Results Area (NKRA)."
The survey, conducted among 44,000 households, is conducted twice every five years.
The data gathered is used for the purpose of monitoring, planning, and policy formulation and programme development, particularly in drafting the country's five-year plans. - NST