There are more Malaysians living in poverty than previously reported, a study by Khazanah Research Institute (KRI) shows.
Malay Mail reported that the study is more realistic as the method used by the previous government to measure poverty was outdated and used one of the lowest baseline among countries that have similar median income level.
The number of poor people have increased from 1.08 million in 1995 to 1.58 million in 2016, the study showed.
The poverty treshold for peninsular Malaysia in 2014 was set at RM930, lower than the minimum wage. For Sarawak, the amount was RM990 while for Sabah and Labuan the amount was RM1,170.
Households that earn less than RM580 per month is considered as hardcore poor.
It had been widely reported that the poverty level had dropped from 37.4 percent in 1979 to only 0.4 percent in 2016.
KRI, however, is disputing this, saying that the indexes used to measure an issue as complex as poverty had too many loophole.
While the numbers made the government look good, it did not help the people as policies created based on the flawed data deprived many of the assistance they need.