An opposition member of Parliament says that the Government’s announcement that Malaysian households are making an average of RM5,900 a month is untrue.
Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim of the DAP said the figure of RM5,900 a month was a result of creative juggling of statistics pulled from the 2014 Household Income Survey (HIS) preliminary report to present a “dishonest” picture of increased income among Malaysians.
“By patting its own back on the so-called achievement, the government created a false sense of its own success, thus risked ignoring the real situation and the work that still needed to be done,” Sim said in statement, as reported by The Malay Mail Online.
On Sunday, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar said according to the HIS preliminary report, the average Malaysian household’s monthly income had increased to RM5,900 a month, up from RM5,000 from the survey’s findings in 2012.
Sim claimed the figure doesn’t hold water, as the Federal Government itself admitted that 80% of Malaysian households had benefitted from the Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) cash aid programme, in which recipients must earn less than RM3,000 a month.
He added that government statistics showed that 82.5% of Malaysians under the age of 30 earn less than RM3,000 a month, as of September last year.
Sim holds that tthe figure announced by Abdul Wahid on Sunday was derived from averaging the total income of all households in the country, regardless of earning capacity, which he claims skewed the findings due to income inequality.
He said that the median household income in Malaysia, which stood at RM3,626 a month in the 2012 HIS report, provides a more accurate picture of how much the average Malaysian household actually earns, as it differentiates between low and high income earners.