Parliamentary select group to discuss UN report on Malaysia’s poverty rate

Anwar ibrahim, who heads the parliamentary select committee on reforms and governance, says it is too early to set up a royal commission of inquiry into the poverty issue, as suggested by Consumers’ Association of Penang.

SERI KEMBANGAN: The parliamentary select committee on reforms and governance is expected to discuss a United Nations (UN) report on the country’s poverty rate.

Committee chairman Anwar Ibrahim said the report was forwarded to them two weeks ago and it will be tabled to the members.

”We have decided to inform other elected federal representatives about the report,” he said after attending an event here.

UN’s special rapporteur Philip Alston had questioned the government’s claim of eradicating poverty, saying the government uses a low poverty line that fails to reflect the actual conditions of the country.

He said the official poverty line did not portray the cost of living in the country and excludes vulnerable populations in its official figures.

Alston also said the actual poverty rate of the country is much higher than the official numbers stated.

Commenting on the report, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the government will take note of Alston’s report on the country’s poverty rate.

Anwar said it was too early to set up a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) into the poverty issue, as suggested by the Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP).

UN special rapporteur Philip Alston during his visit to Sabah to study the poverty levels among people. (Facebook pic)

He added that it was better for the Economic Planning Unit and economists here to look into the UN report first.

“Give the economists from Universiti Malaya and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia a chance to provide their input to us (MPs) first so that we can study them,” Anwar said.