Is Malaysia becoming a welfare state?


Most Malaysians don’t pay income tax. So, how are hand-outs financed?

With cash payments to the poorer classes becoming standard policy in Malaysia, questions have been raised as to the efficacy of such measures. How do they help the needy, and how is the political economy affected?

The former mayor of Bogota, Enrique Peñalosa, once said, “A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars; it’s where the rich use public transportation.”

Does this interesting observation capture the essence of the subject? This is indeed worth a discussion.

Better to not work?

Take the UK for example. Although the UK welfare state lives up to the above description, it has encountered serious problems. In 2011-2012, the Department for Work and Pensions reported expenditure of over £159bil – approximately 22.8% of government spending!

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