KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s poverty level has improved tremendously with its extreme poverty rate reduced to 0.28 per cent from among the highest in the world about four decades ago, says the World Bank.
World Bank chief economist/senior vice-president, Kaushik Basu, said this was much better compared to certain countries, such as Nigeria, with extreme poverty rate up 53.5 per cent from 46 per cent during the same period.
“(Around) half of the (Malaysian) population would be below the US$1.90 (in 1980s) per day. Today, in Malaysia, poverty has come down to 0.28 per cent, the number of people living in poverty.
“So it is a dramatic improvement that has indeed taken place,” said Kaushik at the launch of the World Bank Group Office here yesterday.
Also present was Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz.
Kaushik said one of the World Bank goals was for the global extreme poverty rate to be reduced to three per cent by 2030.
“Currently, the global poverty rate stood at 12.7 per cent, which is quite bad but it looks not too bad if we look at where we have come from,” he said.
He said from a country that was dependent on a few commodities to a diversified modern economy, Malaysia was a remarkable success.
“As many nations suffer because of falling global commodity prices, Malaysia stands out for having transformed itself from a poor, commodity-exporting nation to a modern, diversified economy,” Kaushik said. — Bernama