Number of poor households increased due to lack of comprehensive social protection system
17 Oct 2021
By Wartawan Nabalu News
KUALA LUMPUR: The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) reported that the number of poor households increased from 405,400 in 2019 to 639,800, a year later.
Aside from the Covid-19 pandemic, the lack of a comprehensive social protection system has also exacerbated the economically- and socially vulnerable groups that include daily wage earners, contract workers, single parents, indigenous peoples, and persons with disabilities, among others.
The COVID-19 pandemic, combined with the lack of a comprehensive social protection system has exacerbated the insecurity and vulnerability of these groups, and their inability to protect
against interruption or loss of income due to the movement restrictions enforced during the pandemic.
In a statement, SUHAKAM has called on the Government to adopt a human rights-based approach in its effort to eradicate poverty.
“This should include active participation of vulnerable communities in decisions that affect them, government commitment to fulfill its obligations as duty-bearers, ensuring principles of non-discrimination and equality are met; and empowering every individual to claim and exercise their rights,” it said.
It was also mentioned that there are at least 110 different social support programmes that spread across more than 20 ministries and agencies in Malaysia.
“Whilst acknowledging the Government's efforts to mitigate the impact of the pandemic and to eradicate extreme poverty through the National Recovery Plan and the Twelfth Malaysia Plan (12MP), it is crucial to note that a more coordinated strategy is needed to ensure that all the plans can be delivered effectively.
“All stakeholders should play their role towards the realisation and protection of the rights of the vulnerable communities and to ensure that they are able to enjoy, at the very least, the minimum standards of a dignified life set forth by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).”
The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is observed on 17 October annually to encourage all States to promote and undertake, as appropriate in the national context, concrete activities to eradicate poverty.