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  • Writer's pictureBait Al-Amanah

FMT Interview - Move away from hardcore poverty as ultimate metric, economist tells govt

The Malaysian Prime Minister and other government leaders have recently been highlighting the nation’s goal of ending hardcore poverty, with Pahang MB Wan Rosdy also recently saying that Pahang has successfully eradicated hardcore poverty.

Benedict Weerasena, Research Director of Bait Al Amanah in a recent interview with Free Malaysia Today explained that celebrations of hardcore poverty eradication may be misplaced, as the metrics used create a “false narrative”.

Weerasena said Malaysia would do better to shift its perspective away from the “illusion” of zero hardcore or absolute poverty, which was solely based on income, and towards the multidimensional poverty index (MPI) instead.

He said the MPI highlighted non-monetary aspects such as inadequate education, poor living conditions and insufficient access to healthcare, while reminding policymakers to think of multidimensional solutions.

“This includes enhancing the coverage of social protection schemes, expanding opportunities for quality education, ensuring access to affordable housing and addressing institutional barriers.

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