PETALING JAYA: The economy ministry and statistics department are in the midst of studies to come up with a new method to measure absolute poverty, to replace the current poverty line income.
Sabah and Sarawak affairs and special functions minister Armizan Ali said this new method of measurement must be thoroughly studied to ensure it could be implemented well at all levels.
Currently, the poverty line is set at RM2,208 while a household is deemed hardcore poor if its monthly income is less than RM1,169.
Armizan said that as of Feb 28, there were 302,694 heads of households in the country who were listed as poor and 124,519 as hardcore poor in the eKasih database.
In a written parliamentary reply, he reiterated that the government was committed to eradicating poverty and achieving a zero hardcore poverty rate by 2025.
Among the programmes that have been implemented are Inisiatif Pendapatan Rakyat (IPR), Payung Rahmah, electricity bill rebates, and cash distributions.
The Payung Rahmah initiative includes Menu Rahmah meals, the Rahmah sales programme and the Rahmah package. It is aimed at reducing the cost of living for low-income earners.
Under the IPR, Putrajaya will allocate RM750 million to build infrastructure for the poorest in society to enable them to get jobs that not only raise their income but also sustain it.
Armizan was replying to Suhaili Abdul Rahman (PN-Labuan), who asked if the government was planning to change the poverty line in line with the current economic situation.