Evidence of rising inequality in Asia poses challenge


Finding it tough to keep your head financially above water? Read this if you want to know where Malaysia stands in Asia in terms of income inequality and some of the factors driving this inequality.


Malaysia has a Gini coefficient (a measure of income inequality) of 0.46, the same as another unequal country, the United States (0.46), and almost the same as Singapore (0.47).

Read this .pdf article to find out more. This piece was first published by Oxford Analytica in its Daily Brief on 26 July 2013 and is duly acknowledged.

Please help to support this blog if you can.

Read the commenting guidlelines for this blog.
Notify of

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Yesterday I got a cold, running nose, coughing & dry throat + slight fever.
Took a Panadol & persisted till today, taking Panadols.
The idea of paying Rm38 for a remedy is way too Kui Ka Boay Si.

Since adopting a simplicity lifestyle, anything above normal, affordable price tag is to be avoided like a Jit Goek Kui.

Chiew Lei

Be careful be Penadol, can be additive. Long term may cause damage to your kidneys.
Do not be stingy when come to your health. Be prepared to pay more to the poor doctors who have spent a lot to get the doctorate degree, as I heard in Malaysia they are earning less than a hair saloon stylist.

Danny Kua

He was sick and went to clinic. The doctor prescribed him down fever & pain-killer tablets. Total cost RM35 (may be RM30 for consultation & RM5 for medicines).
My son works part time 5hrs shift at one fast food outlet earning RM30 (RM6/hour). So yesterday i got to top up RM5 to pay for his bill.
This reminds me of higher cost of living. Daily earning may not cover daily expenses anymore.
Sorry doctors, we now go to pharmacy to buy panadols and save for potential 30% hike.

Club41 Oon

Sometimes the doctor in the clinic will ‘talk cock’ with you for a while to make you feel that the consultation fee is justified. A lot of time what they ask you has got nothing to do with your illness.

Those straight As students hoping to take up medicine course should put a reality check to their ambition. To be a doctor is to serve the sick, and not to make money in a glamorous way. You may not make enough money to pay back your PTPTN.


It is a joke that a developed and most demoncratic country like USA has the same standing(Gini score of 0.46) as Malaysia.How about countries like UK,Australia and New Zealand? It will be interesting to know.


If you are hit by unemployment and recession, watch this Singapore-made TV series (Recession Heroes) for inspiration. True story of people who overcome the odds.

Danny Kua

Thks for the link (thks to anil as well). Looks like Spore able to predict the high high cost of livings and make shows the audience can relate to and at same time learn from it.
I hope RTM or Media Prima can do likewise. Less syiok sendiri production like motor rempits series. More practical reality programs PLS.


Seeing Doctors to cost more if their request for increase in consultation fee by 30% (currently set at RM30-RM50 for general doctor, RM50-RM80 for specialist) is met. May be doctors also want to live in RM6 million bungalow like their political counterpart ?

Another barang naik phenomenon that contribute to amazing geni-coefficient ???


Doctors also need to take RM1.3 million loan to buy RM1.9 million house like Wee Ka Siong.
So need to have higher income as bank only approve 40% of money income for loan.


Price hikes (in many categories of goods & services) the results of genuine higher costs of production / services or are some of them greedyman-made? First we have fuel price hikes (many times over the last decade) then electricity, then medic consulting fees, then fish (exclude Koay Kau fish b’cos of deteriorating coastal water off Coast-Mud Gurney Drive & Tanjung Tokong), then chicken (slim & juicy ayam orang kampung excluded), then vege, then milk powder, then durian, then Milo, & now street hawker food esp the famous Ori-Maestros’. And the surreal housing prices is one major contributing factor of ‘Keeping… Read more »

MX Loke

The UNESCO status for Penang has up property and land pricr in George Town, causing rental hile that Ori-Maestro cannot tahan to hold price low now that prople willing to fork out RM12 for a cup os Starbuck coffee. Already many Ori-Maestro cannot sustain family tradition food business to make way for fast food chains. So a big price to pay in the heritage zone since traditional businesses are wiped out ironically.

Danny Kua

RE : Kopi-O is ‘char kuan-kuan’ 3 in 1 kopi already fried high high in prices now. Those days a pack of 30 cost RM6-7 BUT thks to savy marketing the consumers willing to pay twice the amount in RM12-13 range. I dont need to reveal the brand names you can figure that out. The higher cost is to cover TV, print media and celebrities endorsement cost. I suggest go to traditional (if still exist) sundry chiak tiam mah. Get the raw one and go home brew on our own. Save cost and healthier (to much sugar & creamer can… Read more »


UNESCO heritage status is actually meant for heritage sites that consistently preserve their cultural significances in ‘genuine’ ways that promote the authentic expressions & living heritage in their own unique forms & substance. BUT the way we are witnessing here of Singland stylish development within our heritage site speaks more of slick commercialisation & ‘plastic’ makeover to suit the taste of the trendy, rich & famous. Is heritage appreciation the domain of the trendy rich? If I could capture the 60s – 80s authentic living heritage & compare it with what we see today, you would be amazed by the… Read more »

MX Loke

See doctor for RM50 is relatively cheaper than seeing wax figurines at i-City as it will set you back RM

MX Loke

I mean the admission price to see the wax figurines is RM80. Either too expensive or Ringgit has kiew chui.


1. So long as people, especially Malays can’t see through the farce like Mahathir saying that MAS should be privatized (when he means its privatized to basically himself?) with 60 year fuel subsidy or don’t understand that the reason why hedonistic self-engrossed Nadim Nazir would work for his father (soley he can also get filthy rich by politics like his father?) it will only increase..

2, Truth is to reverse the trend of income inequility is almost hopeless. IF you just arrest it, don’t let it get worst, you will be ahead of the game..

Smurf Smurf

Malaysia has a Gini coefficient (a measure of income inequality) of 0.46 ==> 1 Syed Mokhtar or 1 Vincent Tan = 4.6 milion Malaysians


Now, that is an excellent example of thinking out of the box, the Malaysian way! Good one!

MX Loke

Are you influenced by the book ‘ THE PRICE OF INEQUALITY: HOW TODAY’S DIVIDED SOCIETY ENDANGERS OUR FUTURE’ by the Nobel prize winner Joseph E. Stiglitz?+

Club41 Oon

This is how the book was reviewed by The Guardian: This essential book – written by a Nobel prizewinning economist and a former chief economist at the World Bank – offers a readable and accessible explanation of how we have been horribly exploited by a greedy and powerful elite. “Those at the top have learned how to suck out money from the rest in ways that the rest are hardly aware of,” says professor Stiglitz, “that is their true innovation.” Politics shapes the market, he argues, but politics has been hijacked by a financial elite that has feathered its own… Read more »

club41 Oon

Watch this on Youtube:

Joseph Stiglitz spoke at the Cedar Hills Crossing Powell’s Bookstore in Beaverton, Oregon, on June 14th, 2012:

Nobel Prize winning economist, author and lecturer, Joseph Stiglitz, talks about his latest book, THE PRICE OF INEQUALITY: HOW TODAY’S DIVIDED SOCIETY ENDANGERS OUR FUTURE.

najib manaukau

Vow, Malaysia is now on par with Thailand, I am more surprise that Malaysia went even lower than Thailand for a short while ! Still Malaysia is way off east Asia ! Why ? Ot must have got to do with the people behind introducing and most of all implementing the policies affecting their position ! Glad I am out of this God forsaken country just like millions of other non bumiputra Malaysians. Will this ever happen to the unwanted and tongkat dependent Malaysians , sorry for them for being struck in the boleh land and perhaps that is the… Read more »