From the Edge Daily (excerpt; emphasis added):
KUALA LUMPUR: Salary earners in the “sandwiched” middle-income group will soon find themselves at the losing end as the government continues its fiscal consolidation.
The middle-income group is defined as individuals who earn between RM2,300 and RM7,000.
This group forms 40% of the country’s workforce. The middle-income earners are mostly taxpayers and are the vast majority who drive consumer spending — a main growth engine for the domestic economy...
Erm...slight problem here. By all accounts, less than 20% of the workforce is eligible to pay tax and about 10% actually does, which is totally at odds with the numbers quoted here. And it turns out the problem is the definition – the text shouldn’t read individuals, it should read households.
The data compiled by DOS show the mean monthly household income level for the middle 40% is just RM4573 in 2012, or approximately RM2570 per income earner. A single person earning that amount who only deducts EPF contributions pays zero tax, and I don’t think they’re the ones referred to as, "The middle-income patrons of gourmet coffee outlets will have to either cut down their visits or opt for cheaper alternatives."
Sorry, if you can afford to drink gourmet coffee in Malaysia, chances are you’re not middle income. It doesn’t detract from the main point of the article, but it should’ve been made clearer who exactly we’re talking about.