Malaysia: Reasons of Poverty, Poverty Line Income, Measures to Eradicate Poverty


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Poverty Line Income

The poverty line income is the minimum level of income deemed adequate in a specific country. We can calculate the poverty threshold by determining the total costs of the resources that are essential for an average human adult that is consumed in a year. Historically, economists have given particular attention prices of houses and the real estate market as a sturdy poverty line effector since rent which is required to live in an apartment constitutes the largest portion of those resources. Sometimes, certain factors like whether an adult is a parent, a child, married, and others, are usually used to be accounted for different circumstances (Wikipedia, 2018).

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Concepts of poverty

One concept of poverty which is most frequently used is the lack of economic well-being which focuses on ways that are quantifiable for measuring and defining poverty. This concept points to the ‘economic deprivation’ theme. The economic well-being concept is mainly focused on inadequacy of economic resources that humans consume. The idea of economic well-being is connected to physical quality of life for which utilisation of clothing, shelter, food and other basic needs are essential.

Another concept is capability which looks at poverty as one of the downfalls in an individual’s basic capabilities that shows how much freedom is needed to reach meaningful daily functions. The degree of freedom an individual enjoys serves as an accurate basis of determining the deprivation level experienced. This concept makes more sense to idealise poverty because instead of focusing on instrumentally apparent low levels of income, it gives attention on the portion of well-being or deprivation that has inherent value and is generated from a wide range of attributes.

There is also the social inclusion concept which is related to the relational quality of life. The social inclusion approach is focused on the relationship of a person with the wider social institutions and frameworks which identifies an individual’s social and relational resourcefulness needed to achieve human well-being. Advocates of this social inclusion approach assert that when these individuals lack proper social order that could provide them sufficient protection when it is needed, even if they have sufficient income or means for survival, people may be considered poor too (Wagle, 2008).

Reasons of Poverty

Rural areas

Rural poverty is mainly caused by poor infrastructure that has inhibited mobility long with development. The rural areas usually lack properly built roads which could lead people to gain accessibility to larger markets. Most urban poor do not have access to developing markets and technologies that are at urban places. With the lack of infrastructure, for the poor whom many have very limited access to media outlets, communication hindered which leads to social isolation. This kind of isolation interrupts integration with urban communities and emerging markets that could have led to better economic security. Besides, due to uncertainty in the water supply for yield production, poor irrigation systems endanger agricultural crops. Lower crop production, lesser days of employment and lesser productivity in a lot less wealthy rural area may be caused by not having irrigations at all for pumping or storing water.

For some rural communities, they have low levels of education together with limited opportunities so that they can sharpen and elevate skills to hinder social mobility. Most of the poor in remote areas work in jobs that are insecure that causes poverty among the rural poor because of the lack in education and not much skills. Insufficient education relating to personal well-being and nutritional diets frequently causes malnutrition in the poor rural citizens. Also, lack in accessibility of information and social isolation that is caused by insufficient roads causes the acquisition of healthcare and being able to afford it tough for the poor in rural areas, leading to worse health rates (Wikipedia, 2018).

Urban areas

The world’s population is expected to be close to 60% in the year 2030 as the urbanisation is quite a rapid process. When the urban population is increasing, this has caused urban poor to be a lot more apparent. Today, citizens in the urban areas are facing limited accessibility to hygienic water, insufficient waste management, excessive noise levels, environmental pollution and poor drainage systems as megacities are reaching their capacity for sustaining human life.

As more people migrate to urban areas to find better living situations, lack of employment opportunities contributes to even more households striving to survive with low levels of income, hence, leading to the rich and poor gap to be expanding (Essays UK, 2013).

Measures to Eradicate Poverty

Provision of good job opportunities is one of the best ways out of poverty (Wallas & Boteach, 2014). In the initiative to encourage job growth, the government has to invest in strategies like renovating abandoned housing, developing renewable energy resources, rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure and other job-creation strategies that form more jobs, rejuvenate neighbourhoods, and boosts the economy of the country. Not only that, the government should build on models of subsidized employment to lend a helping hand to those who are long-term unemployed and other disadvantaged workers re-enter the working environment.

Furthermore, the consistent access to hygienic water sources is crucial to minimise poverty (Lifewater, 2014). Most businesses such as domestic farmers market to large multinational institutions place reliance to a certain degree on continuous accessibility for clean water. Local farmers that wash crops and process foods know that water is really important to carry out these activities. Sometimes, employees and customers may need to leave the market momentarily to look for water and somewhere to access the bathroom when they do not possess safe water. Employers will be able to retain more productive and healthier workers if they can provide drinking water that is safe and sufficient sanitation facilities for their workers. On the other hand, schools in rural places often have a tough time retaining teachers when they are not able to provide sanitation facilities in or near schools.

Moreover, we should invest more in the poor children by providing them access to sufficient education, proper nutrition and healthcare (Pham, 2014). Children are our future world leaders and for them to be successful, they need to be equipped with the necessary skillset. In the future, they can make changes in the political system and economy so that they can help rescue their countries from poverty. Furthermore, as educated individuals, they are less likely to be involved in unethical behaviour which in turn reduces mortality levels. Every nation must be aware of skilful children who most likely will achieve high level professions. These children possess the ability to contribute greatly to society in wide ranges of fields that can motivate growth of the economy. Hence, it is essential to nurture their talents physically and mentally to reduce worldwide poverty in the long term. Also, for children to be physically and psychologically healthy, they should be provided with a proper nutritional diet. If children lack the appropriate amount of nutrition, it can cause their minds to develop slower and they might not absorb the learning too well. Good education systems and motivation from society are the keys in unlocking the full capabilities of young people.

Best solution

In my opinion, investing in children is the best way to overcome poverty from a global perspective. Children truly are the face of our future and we as society have to start now to shape today’s children by providing them access to good education, nutrition and healthcare.

When a child’s needs are being taken care of, not only is that an investment in a more democratic and equitable community, it is an investment in a more healthy, more literate and a more productive population in the long run. Investing in children is morally the right thing to be done. That is why UNICEF says ‘Finance development: Invest in Children’. It is also why UNICEF says ‘Poverty reduction starts with children’ (UNICEF, 2003).

Conclusion and Recommendations

Malaysia has come a long way ever since it achieved its independence in 1957. Ever since, the five-year Malaysian Plans have improved our nation’s economy and strengthen ties between people of different races and religions. Not only that, ICT industry in Malaysia has been tremendously transformed by MSC Malaysia. MSC Malaysia close the technology gap and enable collaboration between local industry and global companies. This has contributed economic growth in our country.

At first, it is difficult to eradicate poverty completely but if we as a unified community lend a helping hand to tackle this global issue, little by little we can create a society where people are given the opportunity to get at least their basic necessities for survival.

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