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Moving forward

its poverty agenda challenges, dilemas and options for Malaysia

Sulochana Nair


Malaysia is currently at the crossroads with respect to its poverty agenda. The way forward would require a paradigm shift in not only the manner in which poverty is conceptualised and defined but also in the way in which strategies and programmes are conceived and executed. Despite achieving commendable progress in reducing the incidence of poverty from 49.3% in 1970 to 3.6-% in 2007 there are still critical issues to grapple with and urgent problems to resolve. While rural poverty still continues to be the focus of policymakers, urban poverty also needs policy attention and prescriptions. Stubborn pockets of poverty continue to elude policy solutions and new forms of poverty are emerging in the context of a country that sees itself as a developed nation by 2020. What does Malaysia need to do in order to deal effectively with its poverty problems from a policy and programme perspective? What are the changes needed in order to ensure that poor and vulnerable groups in the society are not marginalised while Malaysia becomes a developed nation? This paper will provide insights into the strategic directions that policies and programmes need to take to resolve Malaysia poverty problems it will begin with an overview of poverty in Malaysia which will provide the contextual framework for the subsequent discussions. The second part of the paper will highlight the various changes that have taken place over time in the way in which poverty issues are dealt with. The third part of the paper will examine innovative ways in which poverty has been conceptualised and defined and its theoretical premises while the fourth part of the paper will review creative ways in which poverty has been dealt with both in the country and elsewhere and will conclude with some recommendations for policy and programmes direction.

Publication Type(s)

Conference Paper

Ten Years of War Against Poverty Conference Papers

Conference: Ten Years of War Against Poverty


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