KUALA LUMPUR (July 10): The Statistics Department said today the absolute poverty rate in Malaysia improved from 7.6% in 2016 to 5.6% in 2019 following the revision of the national poverty line income (PLI) according to current needs that emphasise on optimal food intake and quality non-food basic requirements.

In a statement today, chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said based on the 2019 methodology, the mean value of the national PLI is at RM2,208, which is within the bottom 10% of households.

"Meanwhile, hardcore poverty recorded 0.4% in 2019 as compared to 0.6% in 2016,” Mohd Uzir said in the statement, which was issued in conjunction with the launch of the department’s Household Income and Basic Amenities Survey Report and Household Expenditure Survey at Putrajaya today.

At the press conference there today, Mohd Uzir said the mean value of the PLI rose to RM2,208 per household per month in 2019 from RM980 previously. He said Malaysia’s PLI was last measured in 2016 using the 2005 methodology, which valued the PLI at RM980.

Based on the new PLI, he said the number of poor households declined to 405,441 households in 2019 from 525,743 households in 2016.

Based on the old PLI, the number of poor households increased to 405,441 in 2019 from 24,700 in 2016, according to him.

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