As the fight with Covid-19 prolongs, Malaysians are starting to see some permanent impacts of the pandemic on our social and economic sectors.
In the latest study carried out by the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM), titled “Household Income Estimates and Incidence of Poverty Report 2020”, they have found that the impact of the lockdowns have became more apparent.
Based on their report, it is said that absolute poverty in Malaysia has increased to 8.4% as compared to 5.6% in 2019. In addition, the hardcore poverty has increased to 1.0%, as compared to 2019. This involves over 78 thousand households across the nation (2019: 27.2 thousand households).
On the other hand, household incomes have decreased drastically, with 20% of M40 households (earning between RM4,850 and RM10,959) moving into the B40 group and 12.8% of T20 households moved into the M40 group.
In addition, B40 and M40 households both experienced a decrease in income distribution to 15.9% for B40 (16% in 2019) and 36.9% for M40 (37.2 per cent in 2019). Surprisingly, the T20 households, which owned 47.2% of the income distribution have increased by 0.4% in 2020 from 2019.
However, a large portion of T20 households have experience lifestyle changes as they move into the M40 category. This meant that there is still an increase in income distribution for the existing T20 group, when the M40 and B40 household are experiencing decrease in income.
DOSM also said that the Covid-19 outbreak had a significant impact on the structure of household groups in Malaysia but the effects are temporary and the country may still be able to recover.
“The economy is expected to improve and recover as the spread of the pandemic can be contained.” they added.
Meanwhile, they also highlighted that the federal and state government played a key role in cushioning the impact of the pandemic as well as towards reviving the household income and the country’s economy.
While the government gradually reopens the social and economic sector across the nation, we hope that the situation will soon turn well.
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