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Widening inter-ethnic income gap must be narrowed

malaysia-income-inequality

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

KUALA LUMPUR – Nov 10, 2016: If a blogger has got his facts right, the economic and financial situation of Bumiputras doesn’t look good and is not likely to be better.

This is due to the situation where the average income of Bumiputras has exponentially increased since 1970, the inter-ethnic income gap has widened at an alarming rate.

This is the case being put to us by anonymous blogger Darah Tuah, who wants the government to up its game to narrow the gap.

The blogger  also holds on to the opinion that this inequality can destabilise the country.

Citing figures from the Department of Statistics, the blogger wrote that in 2014, the average monthly income of a Bumiputra household was RM5, 548, Chinese RM7, 666; Indian RM6, 246 and others RM6,011.

“A positive and constructive intervention must be done immediately by way of reviewing all policies and execution that have widened this gap.”

The blogger thinks that it is strange and unique that Bumiputras have the lowest average income in Malaysia despite being the majority.

“The majority that holds the strongest political power is also from the same group that is economically isolated from the country’s wealth,” laments Darah Tuah.

What is more disheartening, says the blogger, is that Bumiputras make up more than 75 per cent of the country’s poor; 75 per cent of its general workers; 75 per cent of those earning low wages; 70 per cent of the self-employed; 70 per cent of the unemployed and 70 per cent of student loan borrowers.

To reduce the gaps at all fronts, the blogger suggests that the government formulate more poor-based and shared-prosperity policies.

“More job and business opportunities should be allocated to the target group so that they can increase their incomes,” the blogger proposed.

He also stressed the need for the government to prepare safety nets for Bumiputras.

The blogger’s suggestions are supported by Umno’s Sekijang member of parliament, Anuar Abd Manap, who told The Mole that government agencies entrusted with the execution of Bumiputra empowerment policies must intensify efforts to solve the problem.

Kapar Umno division deputy chief Datuk Saruni Judi, who also commented on the matter, said one of the ways the government can reduce the Bumiputra-Chinese income disparity is to simply expand the wealth of the country.

After expanding the economic cake, the wealth must be evenly and proportionately distributed according to the racial composition. This way, the income gap can be reduced without offending any race.

The Department of Statistics' average income of Malaysians by ethic group, strata and states.

The Department of Statistics’ average income of Malaysians by ethic group, strata and states.

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About the author

Zaidi Azmi

Zaidi Azmi

Despite becoming The MOLE's journalist in 2014, he still has a hard time traversing the city. If he is not lost, this northern kampung boy can be found struggling to make some sense out of the Malaysian political sphere.