Poor-rich gap in Malaysia the widest in Asia Pacific because of low salaries, government policies

KUALA LUMPUR, 24 Oct: A study by internal economic analysts found that the gap for the standard of living between the poor and the rich in Malaysia is the widest in Asia Pacific.

The Member of Parliament for Lembah Pantai, Nurul Izzah Anwar, said that the study shows that the situation is because of two main factors; the rate of salaries and government policies that fail to help the low-income group.


“The main problem in Malaysia that should be solved is the discrepancy between the poor and the rich, like an international study on why the discrepancy for the standard of living is widening in Malaysia, most unfair in Asia Pacific.

“28 percent is because of the low income of workers and 27 percent is because government policies do not stress on how to overcome the problem of improving the people’s quality of life,” said Nurul Izzah.

She said this when she was a panellist at the Bicara Harakah forum entitles ‘Bajet 2015 – Di Mana Pincangnya’ at the My Harakah Bazaar Gallery here at Jalan Pahang yesterday.

She also referred to a study by the lecturer for the University of Malaya Faculty of Economy and Administration, Professor Dr Fatimah Kari, that the BR1M does not help the low-income group to increase their respective economic standards.

“This is because no continuous efforts are being defended. Not by giving the BR1M but to continue with policies that improve their standard of living such as a minimum wage.

“The GST will make the situation worse despite the BR1M being given, as stated by Professor Dr Fatimah Kari. Even by giving any amount of the BR1M but rationalisation subsidy policies would continue to trap the poor in poverty,” she added.

Nurul Izzah also slammed the government for rejecting the Capital Gains Tax (CGT) to replace the GST which the GST has been successfully practices in 120 countries.

She said that the denial by the Minister of Finance, Datuk Ahmad Maslan, that the implementation of the CGT will cause the rich to flee to other countries is a shallow excuse and does not make sense.

“While no rich people from countries that implement the CGT have fled due to this reason,” Nurul Izzah added.


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