Malaysians are no longer POOR…apparently

* Image Source : The Malaysian Insider

Came across this interesting article that a friend of mine posted on Facebook. After reading the article and the interesting comments let by readers there, I couldn’t resist the temptation to post this and share it with everyone on my blog.

How poor are we, really? – The Malaysian Insider

So, apparently, we’re no longer a poor country. Apparently, either Malaysians are making more money now or they have some weird way of calculating the poverty line.

Several interesting statistics were presented in this article, along with some very interesting quotes as well. Some of my favourites…

A household living in the peninsula is considered poor only if its monthly income is below RM763.

Or, that if a member of a household earns RM5.80 a day, they cannot be considered poor. Since, according to the government, you are able to live on RM5.80 a day.

RM5.80 is supposed to pay for three meals, transport costs, rent, recreation and the other components for ONE person in ONE day. Tell me, can a Malaysian in the Peninsula even buy three meals a day on RM5.80?

Our poverty level looks good on paper but woefully ignores reality. We are so obsessed with selling this story that we are a success.

The comments are mostly crying how ridiculous the government thinks of us to survive on RM 5.80 a day to fulfil not only food requirements, but transportation, clothing, rent, etc as well. This is indeed a questionable method of calculation.

But remember, this is an average nationwide. They ARE saying that if you make less than this, then you ARE poor! 

You see, we (Klang Valley people) sometimes lose sight of how the rest of the nation is doing. We sprout off figures of how expensive a nasi lemak cost here, but forget that our cost of living is higher here in the city. We struggle to make ends meet (yes, even with a RM 4,000 monthly income) because we do spend more on luxury. Think about it – is your expensive smartphone a necessity? Necessity defined as what you need to live – eg. food, clothing, housing, etc.

Technically, if you tighten your belt, you can live on less. But because we’re so used to the lifestyle that we have today that we now NEED RM X to survive each month. The more money you have, the better your lifestyle, the higher your monthly overheads and expenses. So, income is never enough – we always want more.

But when push comes to shove, when you don’t have a job anymore or you can’t make what you used to anymore (think disability, health reasons, etc) – you WILL somehow find a way to survive on less… because you HAVE TO!!!

So, making less than RM 800 is poor, according to the government – yes. We get complacent sometimes. There are poorer people who CAN make ends meet with that income. So, count your blessing…

However, like many of the commenters, I do agree that RM 14.20 per person per day is a more realistic number of national average. 😛

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