Category: Poverty

Sarawak: Where has all the $$ gone?

Those travelling for the first time to Sarawak might be shocked to discover the poor condition of roads, even in urban areas.

And if you venture further away from the cities and towns, you might find folks without proper piped water and regular electricity supply and people still using pit latrines. And all the while, some of the political elites and their business cronies in Kuching enjoy ostentatious life-styles, their families having accumulated millions. (more…)


Sarawak’s real poverty rate: 5.3% or ?

One of the biggest issues in the forthcoming Sarawak election is the level of income distribution, inequality and poverty in the state, or more specifically how many people have been left behind or totally left out in this resource-rich state.

BN propaganda inevitably touches on how the official poverty rate in Sarawak has purportedly plunged during the Taib years to only around 5 per cent now. Take for example this piece in the BN’s

In the mid-1980s, Chief Minister Taib faced a Sarawak where nearly 32% of its population lived in poverty, a shocking statistic to anyone living in the Western world. In three decades of democratic leadership, Taib has helped pull his citizens out of the depths of destitution. Now only 5.3% of Sarawakians live in poverty. For comparison, that is less then half the amount of Americans who live below the poverty line, a startling feat.

Less than half the US poverty rate? Betulkah? That is indeed startling! This assertion is repeated over and over again in But then, what about that inconvenient truth – all those natives living without proper water and electricity supply and latrine facilities? (more…)