MIND THE GAP On The Widening Gap Between The Rich and The Poor


The gap between the rich and the poor in Malaysia is widening, and is almost among the largest in Asia. Why is this the case despite the government’s economic policy being anchored on the framework of growth with redistribution? Is there still scope for policymakers to reduce the inequalities?

Not too long ago, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) launched its 2011 Human Development Report. I am not going to comment on Malaysia’s ranking in the Human Development Index – we are so obsessed with ranking that it is borderline fetishism – but what interested me was the title of the report: “Sustainability and Equity”. It was apt and timely.

Incidentally, the recent World Bank Malaysia Economic Monitor Report also argued for growth with equity (inclusive growth). The message to policymakers is this: economic growth must be accompanied by equitable distribution.

To read the rest of the article and to access our e-Archive, subscribe to us for RM150 a year.

Related Articles

Dec 2015

One Heck of a Hill

Much loved by all who have been up it, Penang Hill faces some careful but exciting upgrading.

May 2012

Social Resistance in A Semi-Democracy

Recent protests illustrate a widespread demand for meaningful participation in Malaysia's policy making process. Will the government listen?

Jan 2017

Will 2017 Crow or Croak?

Global developments expose Malaysia and Penang's economies to uncertainties.

Mar 2015

Local elections as the foundation of democracy Part I: The Athi Nahappan Report revisited

As we mark the half century since the end of local government elections in Malaysia, we look back at events that led to its demise – most importantly, the Athi Nahappan Report.