Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Dato’ Charon on the State of Malaysian Households

Khazanah Research Institute is a new policy think tank that just started up last year. Here's their MD on their first publication, "The State of Households" in Malaysia:

Your browser does not support native audio, but you can download this MP3 to listen on your device.

You can download the report here, and the Executive Summary here.

There's really no big surprises in the report (at least for me), but the KRIS report does a great job of showcasing the data in a very impactful way, for example showing the differences in access to public goods between rich states and poor states. I absolutely love two of the charts they came up with - household expenditure by income strata and category (pg 18) and GDP per capita comparing both states and cities internationally (pg 8). KL for instance, has a GDP per capita equivalent to Korea's and within striking distance of Seoul, but is nearly 2.5x the Malaysian average and almost 7x that of Kelantan. The Klang Valley is almost literally a different country from the rest of Malaysia.


  1. Hisham,

    This report seems to have been issued a couple of months back. How come there is very little discussion, debate, discourse about the findings? In fact apart from 2 or 3 'findings' reported in the news, not much else was publicised.

    How are the findings & recommendations being used?

    1. @anon 7.41

      That's one reason why Dato' Charon went on the radio - to keep the momentum going. The report has to also compete with all the other reports and findings from other think tanks and NGOs. It's a matter of who pushes the hardest. Nevertheless, I'm sure EPU is taking it into account (along with all the rest).

  2. I skimmed the report. I think education is crucial. I am traditionally against direct handouts but have always supported help which helps people help themselves. Education and training has always been top of my list. Have any societies toyed with the scheme of giving benefits to poor families whose children stay in school (with good attendance)? Sort of like an opportunity cost for otherwise working prematurely. In Singapore where the local populace has been asking for more favours shown to citizens I have been quite staunchly against most of it but I have been a fierce supporter of assistance in the field of education and training - up to 'O' and 'A' Levels its quite affordable but tertiary - poly and uni - I think there can be more help still.