The divide between the rich and the poor is widening in countries across Asia.
“Of the 28 countries that have comparative data between the 1990s and 2000s, 11 — accounting for about 82% of developing Asia’s population in 2010 — experienced rising inequality of per capita expenditure or income, as measured by the Gini coefficient,” reports the Asian Development Bank.
As the global economy slows, the labour market is expected to soften in Malaysia.
Wage are being suppressed by the policy of importing foreign workers and paying them low wages, and this is aggravated by high levels of household debt compared to disposable income.
Neo-liberal policies are contributing to the trend. Privatisation and higher tariffs for essential services, lower taxes for the rich and large corporations, policies that favour Big Business and removal of subsidies on essential goods and services for the poor have widened the rich-poor divide.
The prices of fruit, vegetables and housing are soaring as well.
Expect conditions to become increasingly difficult for low-income workers.