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Anwar seeks to steer MPs' focus on poverty

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Port Dickson MP Anwar Ibrahim said a United Nations report last month about the under-reporting of poverty in Malaysia should serve as a "wake-up call" and is seeking to direct MPs' focus on the issue.

To this end, Anwar (photo) said the parliamentary reform and governance caucus, which he chairs, will convene the first parliamentary seminar on poverty tomorrow.

"At the conclusion of the seminar, we will issue a resolution that provides guidance on how the Pakatan Harapan government can refocus its efforts to create an economically vibrant country that shows great compassion and concern for uplifting the poor from all races and groups," he said in a statement tonight.

Anwar said all MPs and senators have been invited to attend and economists Jomo Kwame Sundaram and Rajah Rasiah will also present their findings on the reality of poverty in the country.

"By using statistical sleight-of-hand, the previous government made grandiose claims about the virtual eradication of poverty in the country.

"Yet we know this cannot be true. I see poverty present in every city and every village that I visit throughout Malaysia.

Despite billions of ringgit allocated to the reduction of poverty and direct payments to the poor, the current situation is unacceptable.

"We would be doing a tremendous disservice to the people if we did not review the calculations, methodologies and approaches to combating poverty," he said.

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