PETALING JAYA: The proportion of households living in hardcore poverty is on the decline because of the unity government’s efforts, says economy minister Rafizi Ramli.
Citing data from the ministry’s household income expenditure survey, which was implemented in 2022, Rafizi said the proportion of hardcore poor has decreased from 1% of all households in 2020 to 0.2% at present, or equivalent of 18,445 households.
In a written Dewan Rakyat reply, Rafizi said a similar decline can be seen based on data from eKasih, a database under the Implementation and Coordination Unit.
“Based on eKasih, as of Oct 31, there are 102,888 heads of households living in hardcore poverty. This is a decrease compared to eKasih data in January, which recorded 126,556 heads of households living in hardcore poverty,” he said.
Rafizi said the unity government is working on further reducing these figures by distributing targeted aid to recipients who qualify, adding that the use of the Padu integrated database will be crucial when it comes online from January.
The minister said short-term aid measures for the poor include cash aid, distribution of basic goods, subsidies for farmers and smallholders, and repairs to rural infrastructure.
In the medium-term, he said entrepreneurship and upskilling programmes were implemented to improve their income levels, including the People’s Income Initiative (IPR) which he earlier said has helped 4,100 low-income households.
“The government will continue to double its efforts to help the hardcore poor break free from poverty, by setting up various programmes to increase their income and create job opportunities.
“The introduction of the Padu database will ensure our efforts to eradicate poverty are more targeted, to ensure no one is left out and that there are no overlaps in distribution of aid by federal and state agencies.”
Rafizi was replying to Aminolhuda Hassan (PH-Sri Gading), who asked for the number of hardcore poor families that have been lifted out of poverty.