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									                            COUNTRY REPORT
                         POPULATION AND POVERTY
                              IN MALAYSIA





SECTION 1 :        OVERVIEW OF POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT
                   SITUATION AND PROSPECTS.


When Malaysia was formed in 1963, the population of the whole country was
approximately nine million. The total population increased to more than 10.8
million in 1970 and 13.7 million in 1980. The rate of population growth had
declined gradually from a high level of 3.0 per cent per annum in 1966 to 2.30
percent in 1980. With the high influx of immigrants during the period of 1980-
1991, the average annual growth rate has risen to 2.64 per cent per annum
giving the total population of Malaysia in 1991 to more than 18.5 million. The
2000 population census gives a population of 23.3 million, growing at an
annual growth rate of 2.60 per cent per annum for the period 1991-2000
(Table 1).


In terms of age structure, the present population of Malaysia can be described
as “youthful”. Due to high fertility in the last two decades coupled with
declining mortality, as many as 33 per cent of the current population are under
the age of 15 years. The current median age of the population is less than 24
years. With regard to the aged population (65 years and older), there has
been a clear trend towards ageing population.                    The proportion of aged
population is currently at 4.0 per cent as compared to 3.7 per cent in 1991.
The overall dependency ratio has decreased from 69.2 per cent in 1991 to
59.1 per cent in 2000 and expected to further decline to 57.8 per cent in 2020.
The drop in the dependency ratio was due to the increase in the proportion of



Malaysia Country Report for the Fifth Asian and Pacific Population Conference : Population and
Poverty in Asia and the Pacific, 11-17 December 2002, United Nations Conference Centre, Bangkok,
Thailand.




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the working age population of 15-64 years as well as slower growth of the
population below 15 years.


In terms of spatial distribution, the proportion of the population living in urban
areas has increased from 50.7 per cent in 1991 to 61.8 per cent in 2000,
growing at an annual average rate of 4.8 per cent. This increase was due to
rural-urban migration, spurred by expectations of jobs opportunities and a
better quality of life, growth of new urban areas and extension of existing
administrative boundaries.


The decline in fertility and mortality levels in Malaysia has been consistent
with the rapid economic growth that the country has been experiencing. While
there has been general awareness of the need to integrate population factors
within the broad framework of development, the vision of attaining an
industrialised and developed nation status by the year 2020 would necessarily
require closer understanding of the implications and consequences of future
changes in population trends and dynamics.


The population of Malaysia, which is 23.3 million in 2000, is expected to grow
to about 33.4 million by the year 2020. The increase in population size for the
next two decades is due to the in-built momentum of population growth arising
mainly from maturing of young age groups of the last few decades into larger
fecund age groups.


The future age structure of the population will have considerable implications
for social and economic development. In the next two decades, Malaysia will
still have a moderately “young” population, with those within the age group
0-14 constituting 30.5 per cent of the total population. This implies that much
of our development resources will still need to be devoted to cater for the
needs of the younger age groups, particularly in terms of child care, education
and other social services. While attending to the needs of the younger
segment of the population, there is also concern for the steady increase of
older persons, both numerically and in proportionate terms. Steps will have to



                                                                                2
be undertaken to plan for the needs of the projected two million elderly by the
year 2020.


Malaysia stands unique today as one of the very few countries which has,
within a relatively short period, succeeded not only in achieving growth but
also in addressing more effectively the problems of poverty and economic
imbalances. Alleviation of poverty has been in fact among the top priorities of
development programmes since independence in 1957.


The promulgation of the New Economic Policy in 1971 has the twin objectives
of eradicating poverty and eliminating the identification of race with economic
function. Its over-riding objective is to achieve national unity. Since then,
poverty eradication has remained as an integral component and thrust of
major policies of the nation, including the National Vision Policy, which is the
successor to the New Economic Policy.


Today, poverty is predominantly a rural phenomenon with absolute poverty
diminishing. The number of poor households in Malaysia has been
considerably reduced from about 619,400 in 1990 to about 274,200 in 1997.
The incidence of poverty among Malaysians decreased from 17.1 per cent in
1990 to 7.5 per cent in 1999 (Table 2). Efforts to reduce poverty were
hampered by the adverse effects of the Asian economic crisis in 1998. Both
rural and urban households recorded reduction in poverty during the 1995-
1999 period. The incidence of rural poverty decreased from 14.9 per cent in
1995 to 12.4 per cent in 1999 while urban poverty decreased from 3.6 per
cent to 3.4 per cent. Households headed by the elderly and female-headed
households experienced high incidence of poverty at 22.7 per cent and 16.9
per cent respectively.


Under the current development plan, the thrust of poverty eradication will be
to re-orientate poverty eradication programmes to reduce the incidence of
poverty to 0.5 per cent by the year 2005. Poverty eradication programmes will
be more target-specific by addressing pockets of poverty, particularly in



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remote areas as well as among disadvantaged groups. Programmes will also
be introduced to address the issue of urban poverty, particularly among those
residing in the periphery of urban areas. Towards this end, programmes to
provide social amenities, including housing, health and education, will
continue as well as be upgraded to meet the needs and demands of these
groups and improve their quality of life.


SECTION 2: FERTILITY LEVELS AND TRENDS


A significant decline in fertility has been evident since early 1960s and was
further accelerated by the introduction of the National Family Planning
Programme in 1967. From a high of 6.0 in the early 1960s, the total fertility
rate has nearly halved to 3.3 in 1990 and 3.1 in 2000 (Table 3). The decline in
overall fertility was partly due to the increase in age of marriage and the
lowering of marital fertility, which was closely related to contraceptive usage.
While 16 percent of women aged 15-19 years were married during the 1970
census, this had declined to 6 per cent in 1984 and further to 4.8 per cent
during the 2000 census. The mean age at first marriage for women has risen
from 23.5 years in 1980 to 25.1 years in 2000, thus delaying childbearing and
subsequently lowering the rate of population growth. The decline in fertility
may also be attributable to other indirect factors such as higher educational
levels of the population especially females; increase in female labour force
participation; the increasing pace of urbanisation; and the             general
improvement in the standard of living.

Consequent to the decline in fertility and an increased preference to form
nuclear households after marriage, there was a significant shift towards
smaller family size. Average household size has dropped from 5.2 persons in
1980 to 4.9 persons in 1991 and further declined to 4.5 persons in 2000.


Practice of contraception rose sharply between 1970 and 1994, reaching
more than half of currently married couples. Reproductive health services
including family planning have been upgraded since the International




                                                                              4
Conference on Population and Development, 1994 and family planning
services are easily available throughout the country with a wide range of
contraceptive choices ranging from hormonal contraception and barrier
methods to chemical methods and sterilisation. Abortion is not available upon
demand but only on medical grounds. Family planning services in Malaysia
are provided based on the policy of non-coercion for the promotion of
maternal and child health.


The National Vision Policy envisages Malaysia as a developed country by the
year 2020. It will be highly industrialised, high technology society with an
economy driven by knowledge, skills and diligence. In a society with such an
economy, fertility is likely to be low. Experience shows that there are no
wealthy countries with high fertility. Malaysia is unlikely to be an exception. In
an urbanised, complex and competitive society with excellent employment
opportunities for better-educated women, the desire for small family size will
be more prevalent.


The National Vision Policy stresses human resource development as well as
the need for the creation of an economically resilient and fully competitive
community. In this respect, it is the quality, rather than quantity of the
population that matters. As such, interventions to influence fertility do not
appear to be needed. Fertility has been declining over several decades and
this decline can be expected to continue if Malaysia is successful in moving
towards an industrialised society. An educated public can make its own
choices about family formation and family size. Ready availability of
reproductive health services such as counseling, contraceptive information
and methods will be the strategy so that an informed choice can be made
particularly by poverty and high risk groups who are generally slow in getting
reproductive health information and disadvantaged by unplanned family size.


The point to be made is that it is not necessary to intervene to “prop up”
fertility. The key need for population programme is to plan and strategise for a
population structure in the period between now and 2020 that is supportive of



                                                                                5
the goals of the National Vision Policy. This requires an emphasis on quality,
on human resource development and on allowing couples to plan their own
family size.


SECTION 3: MORTALITY AND MORBIDITY TRENDS AND POVERTY


Achievements made in Malaysia‟s medical and health services have been
very successful in bringing about a significant decline in the infant, perinatal,
neonatal and maternal mortality and also an increase in the life expectancy of
the people. The success of these achievements has been mainly due to the
bold health policies and innovative procedures taken by the government not
only to resolve immediate health problems but also to institute long-term
measures to achieve a standard of health that will enable Malaysians to enjoy
a better quality of life. In line with the government‟s objective to provide all
Malaysians with a high standard of health and medical care, the development
of health services has been given high priority. Emphasis has been on the
development, modernisation, expansion and strengthening of rural health
services system; the full integration of family planning into the primary health
care services; and the promotion of psychosocial dimensions of health. This is
to rectify the imbalance in distribution of health services between the urban
and rural areas; to ensure accessibility; the eradication of high mortality and
morbidity among sub populations; and to attain universal coverage for primary
health care.


Consequent upon the overall improvement in the health status of the
population, mortality indicators have shown a significant decline (Table 4).
The crude death rate has declined from 7.0 deaths per thousand population in
1970 to 4.6 in 2000. The infant mortality rate was 40.8 per thousand live
births in 1970 and has plummeted to 7.9 in 2000. Similarly, maternal mortality
rate has also declined from 1.48 deaths per thousand live births to 0.2 during
the same period. In order to sustain the decline in avoidable deaths, a system
to investigate maternal deaths among mothers who deliver at home and in
government hospitals was implemented by the Ministry of Health.



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The morbidity profile spanning three decades from the 1970s to the present
indicates that Malaysia is undergoing an epidemiological transition in which
diseases associated with urbanisation, economic affluence, sedentary
occupations and a stressful lifestyle have taken precedence over the
communicable diseases of yesteryears. In the 1970s and earlier, infectious
diseases predominated but by the 1980s, heart diseases, cancers and injuries
due to accidents (motor vehicle, industrial and occupational) were the leading
causes of hospitalisations and deaths. At the same time, there has also been
an increase in mental, social and health-related problems as evident from the
growing number of drug addictions and HIV carriers.


Health education programmes have been one of the most effective strategies
in mortality reduction and ensuring a healthy lifestyle. These education
programmes include efforts to eradicate alcohol and substance abuse,
prevent sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS as well as instill the habit
of regular exercise and the need for balanced diet. These programmes were
implemented through the mass media, schools and through community
groups. Specific intervention strategies have been implemented to reduce
major causes of infant and child morbidity and mortality.       Risk Approach
Strategy and Safe Motherhood Initiatives help to reduce maternal mortality
and morbidity among high risk and high parity mothers. Health programmes
for the upliftment of the very poor and the rehabilitation of malnourished
children were also implemented.


The introduction of Confidential Enquiry Into Maternal Deaths System since
1991 has improved data collection/compilation procedures and enabled in-
depth investigations to be carried out to identify weaknesses and rectify them.




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SECTION 4: MIGRATION, URBANISATION AND POVERTY


The Malaysian population is highly mobile largely due to both the pull factors
of economic opportunities in urban areas and the push factors of the
traditional agricultural rural areas.     These migrants are age and area
selective, with those in the age group of 20-29 years having a greater
tendency to move and settle in more urbanised dan developed areas to
escape the poverty of the rural and under developed areas. Females have
become more prominent in internal migration since 1970s, a trend related to
the increasing level of education and growing employment opportunities for
women.


Over the long term, it is likely that a spatially more dispersed pattern of
internal migration will emerge as development spreads more widely over the
country and as de-urbanisation replaces urbanisation. The flows of internal
migration will also be determined by the success and pace of particular states
in restructuring their economies, as the present trend seems to indicate the
preponderance of economic factors as reasons for migrating. Given this
scenario, there may now be a need for some form of clear policy guidelines to
provide for a general framework regarding future direction of population flow
and distribution. Today already some parts of the country, particularly the
more developed and urbanised states are facing a serious problem of meeting
their labour requirements. Such a phenomenon implies the existence of
spatial mismatching between sources of labour supply and demand. While
this may suggest the need to further encourage rural-to-urban migration, care
should be taken to ensure that this does not lead to the ultimate obsolescence
and depletion of rural areas. Recent trends have clearly shown that such
movements often involve the out-migration of the more dynamic and educated
rural youths.


Excessive urban-bound migration in the past has also resulted in imposing
further strain on the ability of urban authorities to meet the basic needs of their
fast growing population. Future patterns and trends of internal migration in



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Malaysia will therefore require more careful monitoring as it will affect not only
the total number of people in receiving and sending areas but also, in the
case of out-migration, the viability of community life. High in-migration can
pose unexpected needs for basic facilities such as housing and infrastructure.


International migration has emerged as an important factor affecting
population trends in Malaysia. Over the 1980 – 1991 period, international
migration has altered population growth adding about 0.4 percentage points to
the growth. During the boom period of 1991 – 1996, varying figures have
been quoted ranging from 1.5 million to 2.5 million including both documented
and undocumented migrants in Malaysia. However, with a slowdown in the
overall growth of the economy arising from the regional financial crisis
beginning in mid – 1997, a registration exercise of illegal foreign workers was
conducted and a tightening of the policy on the employment of foreign
workers was implemented. Besides a freeze in the recruitment of foreign
workers, excess foreign workers and those who could not be redeployed,
were repatriated. In 2000, the number of non-citizens in Malaysia is about
1.23 million.


As mentioned earlier, the proportion of the population living in urban areas
has increased from 50.7 per cent in 1991 to 61.8 per cent in 2000, growing at
an annual average rate of 4.8 per cent. The urbanisation rate is expected to
increase to 66.9 per cent by end of 2005. Apart from natural increase and
rural-urban boundary changes, rural-urban migration has played a significant
role in the growth of urban centers, especially those that are state or federal
capitals. Changes in the administrative boundaries and expansion of existing
town centers as well as opening of new big townships contributed to the
higher share of population in urban areas.


Despite the growth of several individual urban settlements, the urban system
however, tends to be very strongly dominated by the Klang Valley where
Kuala Lumpur is situated.




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Urbanisation has brought considerable benefits, especially in stimulating
modernisation and contributing to fulfillment of the development objectives of
the country. Various changes have occurred with urbanisation, which include
economic (example, labour mobility, income, savings and capital formation)
and socio-demographic (for example changes in fertility, family size, quality of
life, social stratification, and changing status of women in society). To
illustrate these points, the incidence of poverty in the urban areas had
drastically declined from 7.5 per cent in 1990 to 3.4 per cent in 1999.as
compared against 12.4 per cent in the rural areas in 1999.          The urban
population also earned higher incomes, with the mean monthly income of the
top 20 per cent increasing from RM6,474 in 1995 to RM7,580 in 1999. The
bottom 40 per cent of the urban population enjoyed an increase in their mean
monthly income, from RM942 in 1995 to RM1,155 in 1999. More than 98 per
cent of the urban population currently enjoyed piped water supply and close to
full coverage is expected by the year 2005.


With increasing urbanisation, there is a need for more systematic planning,
efficient administration and better delivery of services from local authorities.
The emphasis in urban development was to ensure that urbanisation process
was planned and implemented systematically to improve the quality of life and
contribute towards economic growth. In this regard, the dispersal of urban
development was undertaken as an important strategy to reduce pressures on
major urban centers such as the relocation of the Federal Government
Administrative Center from Kuala Lumpur to Putrajaya and the development
of Cyberjaya.


Measures were undertaken to improve planning and implementation of
projects to address urban related issues such as flash floods, squatter
settlements, traffic congestion, the hazards of vector-borne diseases as well
as air and water pollution. A total of RM779 million was spent for urban flood
mitigation programmes, while a total of 34,148 low cost houses were in
various stages of implementation in Kuala Lumpur under the Integrated
Housing Programme (Program Perumahan Rakyat Bersepadu). In addition, a



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total of 17,630 housing units were identified for implementation in other major
towns. To alleviate traffic congestion, particularly in the Klang Valley, various
measures were undertaken such as the creation of bus lanes, park-and-ride
facilities, feeder bus services and Light Rail Transit (LRT). The Healthy Cities
Initiative (HCI), introduced in Kuching and Johor Bahru in 1994, was
expanded to include more cities and towns. The HCI focused on communities
in realising their potentials. By 2000, a total of 15 cities and towns participated
in the HCI project.


The development strategies will continue to emphasise the improvement of
the quality of urban services. This is to ensure that the urban areas are more
livable, with its citizens enjoying a higher quality of life. Migration from the
rural sector to areas within and the outskirts of urban centers has created
pockets of urban poverty. Appropriate measures will be instituted to alleviate
the situation. This will include proper urban planning and the provision of
adequate public amenities such as open spaces for children, kindergartens,
and community halls, together with programmes aimed at raising civic
consciousness. The urban areas will be developed through the efficient
management of resources such as land, social infrastructure and human
resources. In this regard, an urban policy will be introduced which will
emphasise a total planning concept in order to attain balanced and
sustainable development in all its multi-facets, that is, economically, socially,
spiritually and environmentally. Under this policy, the urban areas will be
evaluated in terms of size, roles, functions, population targets as well as
human settlement planning and development. In addition, the spatial
distribution and growth of existing and future urban areas will also be
examined and improved. In medium and small-sized towns, the development
of essential facilities such as housing, schools, community facilities and
commercial premises will be given priority to create a livable and attractive
business environment.




                                                                                11
Efforts will be carried out to encourage greater community participation in
managing, improving and resolving urban environmental issues together with
the local authorities. In this regard local authorities will provide better human
settlement facilities and improve the quality of life, in line with the Habitat
Agenda and Local Agenda 21. The use of Information and Communications
Technology (ICT), training of personnel, sharing of best practices and
international networking will in the future enhance the effectiveness and
efficiency of local authorities.


To ensure that the local authorities are able to face new challenges and cope
with the expansion of urban areas, the institutional capacity including the
implementation of planning guidelines and enforcement, will be further
improved and upgraded. In this regard, there is a need to review and
streamline rules, regulations and procedures. In addition, the National
Physical Plan will provide the necessary management tool for effective and
efficient urban development.


SECTION 5: POPULATION AGEING


Since the 1960s, Malaysia has entered the demographic transition stage
where rapid reduction in mortality is accompanied by a steady pace of fertility
decline. Given prevailing demographic trends, it is projected that, by the year
2020, those aged 65 and above will constitute about 7 per cent of an
estimated total population of 33.4 million that will put Malaysia into the ranks
of countries having aged population. In terms of absolute numbers, the
population of older persons will increase from about one million in 2000 to 2.3
million by the year 2020. This represents a more than two-fold increase within
the span of 20 years, or an increase of 65,000 older persons per year.


Even though Malaysia still lags behind in the ageing process when compared
to the more advanced countries, the early sensitisation and consciousness-
raising efforts of the government on the issue of ageing is reflective of its
awareness of significant changes taking shape in the demographic process.



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One of such changes is the clear trend towards declining family size. As care
for the older persons has traditionally been within the family system, further
decline would ultimately reduce the number of family members available for
care of their aged dependents. Care of the elderly within the family system is
fast becoming a problem owing to the fact that the extended family structure is
slowly being undertaken by nuclear family. Such problems are compounded
as more women participate in the labour market and with increasing mobility
of young family members.


Over the years the government has introduced various policies and
programmes that aimed to improve the quality of life for older persons and to
integrate them into the mainstream of development. The National Social
Welfare Policy formulated in 1990 calls for the welfare of the aged to be
safeguarded with the support of the family and the community. Institutional
care is to be considered as a last resort. Towards this end, the government
allowed tax deductions for the payment of medical expenses incurred by
parents. The government approved the establishment of day-care centers to
provide care for older persons during the day in the absence of family
members. For older persons who are destitute and have no relative to care for
them, the government has and will continue to establish homes and provide
financial aid especially to the elderly living in poverty to ensure their well-
being.


Whilst the National Social Welfare Policy is very much welfare oriented, the
National Policy for Older Persons formulated in 1995 put more emphasis on
the developmental aspects of this group. The aim is to create a society of
older persons who possess a high sense of self-worth and dignity, by
optimizing their potential and ensuring that they enjoy every opportunity as
well as care and protection as members of their family, society and nation.
Currently a growing trend is emerging where retired professionals and
government pensioners are being re-emplaced and their resources tapped in
government and private sectors.




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The Plan of Action for the Older Persons, which was introduced in 1998,
recognised community-based programmes as one of the feasible approaches
that would be able to meet current and future challenges pertaining to older
persons. Additional support facilities would need to be provided so that
reliance on family support would not put great stress on family members.
Moves towards creating a caring society should take cognizance of the need
to encourage three or four generation households or alternatively for elderly
persons and their children to live close to each other.


NGOs in Malaysia have also played a complementary role in helping the
Government to meet the social needs of older persons in the country. The
majority of NGOs for the aged target group provide institutional care and
shelter for the older persons who are in need.


SECTION 6: REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH INCLUDING FAMILY PLANNING


Family Planning has been a national programme since the establishment of
the then National Family Planning Board (NFPB) in 1966 and later with full
integration into the Primary Health Care and Maternal and Child Health
Services of the Ministry of Health (MOH) beginning from 1971. The
programme is complemented by family planning clinics of the Federation of
Family Planning Associations of Malaysia (FFPAM) and private clinics and
hospitals in the urban areas. Through this tripartite collaboration, knowledge
of family planning is almost universal and family planning services are widely
accessible, affordable and acceptable to all, and are provided on the basis of
health benefits to the mother, child and family. There is no coercion or
discrimination and individual couples are free to choose the most suitable
contraceptive method based on the timing, spacing and numbers of their
children.


Following the ICPD in 1994, Malaysia has undertaken several initiatives to
ensure family planning services be provided under the broader package of
reproductive health. A Central Coordinating Committee on Reproductive



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Health, chaired by NPFDB, has been formed involving related government
agencies, non-governmental organisations and the private sector to look into
the policies, strategies and the optimal ways of integrating other reproductive
health components such as prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, STDs,
reproductive tract infection, infertility treatment, etc, into the primary health
care system and into family planning programmes. In 2001, the Malaysian
government made a decision that the NPFDB be given the mandate to plan
and implement programmes related to population, family development and
human reproduction.


While recognising the importance of a comprehensive reproductive health
services, effective implementation of such services depend very much upon
the capacity of implementing agencies. Currently, core reproductive health
services such as pre- and post-natal care, maternal care and HIV/AIDS are
provided through primary health care services while service delivery of family
planning services of NPFDB and FFPAM are being expanded to include other
perspectives such as menopause, andropause, youth and adolescent sexual
counseling, infertility, counseling for STDs and HIV/AIDS, screening for
reproductive tract cancers and related services. In view of the need for greater
understanding of the concept, scope and operationalising of reproductive
health among service providers, and programme implementers, training
updates have been intensified and a training package and standard operating
procedures as well as model clinics are currently being developed.


In Malaysia, service providers are committed to the needs of clients through
quality, efficient and effective services. Couples have the right to decide on
the number of children and timing of births. The availability of method-mix
allows switching if and when the method initially selected is found to be not
suitable.


Malaysia recognises that interaction with clients require great efforts and skills
so as to meet their demand and expectations of quality service. A client-
centered approach ensures client‟s satisfaction whereby a high continuation



                                                                               15
rate of users is expected to remain in the programme. High quality service is
continually emphasised at all levels of programme management. As such,
basic reproductive health services have become easily accessible, affordable
and acceptable to almost 100 per cent of the target groups. Emphasis is now
given on high risk and high parity women including those living in poverty.


Malaysia has for several years substituted its target-oriented approach with
quality service approach in the provision of reproductive health services
especially in family planning services. This allows creativity among
programme managers and service providers to expand their services and to
enable them to perform their tasks without pre-set restrictions. This is in line
with the client-centered approach currently being practised. It is based on the
premise that satisfied clients become good motivators for the programme
itself.


SECTION 7: ADOLESCENT REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH


Adolescent reproductive health has become an important national agenda in
view of the increasing incidence of sexual activities among the young that has
led to unwanted teenage pregnancies, abandoned babies, STDs and
HIV/AIDS. As of March 2002, about 2 per cent of HIV carriers and 3.7 per
cent of AIDS cases are from the age group 13-19 years. Findings from a
National Study on Reproductive Health and Sexuality of Adolescents
conducted by the National Population and Family Development Board in 1996
stressed the need for a pro-active strategy to tackle the emerging issues of
adolescent reproductive health. This study forms the basis for multi-sectoral
interventions, which include advocacy, education, counseling and training on
adolescent development, motivation and creative capabilities among clients.
The Cabinet adopted a decision that a Reproductive Health Service Package
for Adolescent and Youth be formulated.


In Malaysia, programmes for adolescent and unmarried persons require a
socially acceptable approach. Currently, family planning services are provided



                                                                              16
only to married couples. Although family life education, which includes topics
on sexuality, is incorporated into the school curriculum, most adolescents are
still ill-equipped to deal with their sexuality. Inadequate access to correct
information, lack of referrals and counseling services, familial and religious
norms are some of the problems faced by adolescents. Economic constraints
as well as difficulties in reaching selective groups such as out of school
youths and those in the workplace, constitute some of the problems faced by
service providers in meeting the reproductive health needs of the adolescents.


A Technical Committee on Adolescent Reproductive Health comprising
relevant government agencies, schools, non-governmental organisations and
interested parties has formulated strategic interventions on issues pertaining
to adolescent reproductive health. At the same time, educational and training
programmes are being conducted for adolescent, in collaboration with
selected schools and NGOs, with the aim of instilling greater resilience,
positive values and promoting healthy lifestyles.


With the establishment of the Malaysian NGO Coordinating Committee for
Reproductive Health (MNCCRH) in mid-1999, the NGOs programme
complements the Government‟s adolescent reproductive health programmes.
One of the main aims of MNCCRH is to promote family life education in order
to prepare young people for responsible parenthood and increase their
access to appropriate information, education and services in addressing their
reproductive health care needs. MNCCRH believes that involving young
people in programme design, planning, implementation and evaluation of
Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) programme will further empower them
with appropriate knowledge and skills to enable them to practice healthy
behaviours and responsible living. The Malaysian NGO National Seminar on
Reproductive Health, 2000 and the National Youth Seminar on Youth-Friendly
Sexual and Reproductive Health 2002 organised by MNCCRH will serve as a
platform for the development of a National Plan of Action on Youth-Friendly
SRH Programme. The programmes of MNCCRH will also serve as a
benchmark towards developing an integrated programme on SRH for



                                                                           17
adolescents with emphasis on partnership and collaboration between and
within relevant government, non-government and corporate sectors.


SECTION 8: DEMOGRAPHIC, ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL
           IMPACT OF HIV/AIDS


The HIV/AIDS situation is recognised as a public health problem in Malaysia
and one that is of a national concern especially with regard to cases of the
spread of HIV/AIDS among young people and to newborns through mother-to-
child transmission. Since the first case of AIDS was reported in December
1986, there has been a geometric increase in the number of HIV infection.
Over the last seven years (1995 – 2001), the average number of new cases
reported annually was 4,716. By March 2002, the cumulative number of HIV
infections was 45,889 with 6,280 cases of AIDS. The HIV infection rate is
highest among young adults of the age group 30 – 39 years while the
proportion of women infected with HIV is also increasing.


Based on the experiences of many countries, if the epidemic persists and
goes unchecked, it will have vast impact on the demographic profile of the
country such as population growth, distribution and structure, widowhood and
increase in orphans among children and in a reduction of the reproductive
years resulting in lower fertility.    Experiences of many countries also
demonstrate that HIV/AIDS epidemic exerts an upward influence on morbidity
and mortality resulting in the decline of life expectancy. Economically there
will be a reduction in the quality and quantity of labour; reduction in volume
and use of savings, resulting in less investment, less productive employment,
lower incomes, slower GNP growth and lower level of GNP. HIV/AIDS would
also contribute to a rise in labour costs as productivity declines due to higher
morbidity and increased absenteeism, and additional training costs incurred
as labour turnover increases. There will be an increase in health and social
expenditures of government and families. There will also be a decline in family
income due to loss of productive family members resulting in an increase in
the incidence of poverty. Given the above demographic, economic and social




                                                                             18
impact of HIV/AIDS, Malaysia will, therefore, give due attention to the
HIV/AIDS epidemic.


In Malaysia, the HIV/AIDS prevention and control programme was established
in 1987. The strategies and activities of the programme are guided by the
following principles: -


      Education is the key to HIV/AIDS prevention;
      Information, education and communication on HIV/AIDS should be
       made accessible and available to the public and those at risk;
      The community as a whole has the right to be protected from
       HIV/AIDS;
      Care and support to the infected and affected individuals should be
       provided in a professional manner and the highest possible level of
       confidentiality should be maintained by care providers;
      Those who are infected with HIV should be safeguarded against
       discrimination and stigmatisation within the community and in the work
       place;
      Each individual should take the responsibility to protect him/herself
       from being infected with HIV, and if infected, to prevent further
       transmission to others;
      The involvement of every sector of the society including those who are
       infected with HIV is essential to successfully meet the challenges of the
       HIV epidemic;
      The importance of continuous training and research in HIV/AIDS; and
      The need for national, regional and international collaboration on
       HIV/AIDS.


The best option in addressing the present challenge is an effective health
promotion strategy directed towards the high-risk groups and young people.
The cultivation of non-risky behavior and the acquisition of skills that comes
with it is a powerful weapon in the battle against the transmission of HIV.




                                                                              19
A nationwide campaign on HIV/AIDS was launched in 1991 and while
dissemination of information on HIV/AIDS is important, there is a need to
provide gender sensitive education about sexuality, life skills and behaviour
change among adolescents, young adults, men and women.


Information and skill about healthy lifestyle, harm reduction practices and the
ability to cope with the disease and its impact are given to those found
positive. Free HIV testing and counseling are available in all government
hospitals and some health clinics.


A special community mobilisation programme for youth, PROSTAR, was
established in 1996, conceived on the premise that it is „action by youth,
through youth and for youth‟, and aimed at enhancing “Staying Healthy
Without AIDS” within the framework of our socio-cultural mores and religious
values. To support this programme, the Government in 2001 has taken the
leadership to train about 20,000 peer educators nationwide.


Gender-based programmes targeting women and children, particularly the
Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV Programme, has helped
improved the chances of HIV positive mother to deliver healthy babies. This
programme not only provides free HIV testing and counseling services, but
also free anti-retroviral therapy to infected mothers and infants. In addition,
awareness campaigns on “women and AIDS” are being carried out and efforts
are being made to involve men with a view to focus on behavioural change.


Although prevention is the mainstay of our response to the HIV epidemic,
specific therapy is considered fundamental for an effective programme. The
present regime is the Highly Active Anti-retroviral Therapy or HAART, given to
cases that fulfill the medical eligibility criteria. The treatment for certain
categories of patients are fully subsidised by the government, namely children
less that 12 years old, persons who acquired infection through contaminated
blood and blood products, health care workers infected through occupational




                                                                            20
exposure and women detected positive through the antenatal screening
programmes.


In the fight against HIV/AIDS, the government works closely with NGOs. The
Malaysia AIDS Council, an umbrella organisation of multiple NGOs has
played an important role in advocacy, capacity building and coordinating
activities addressing specific target groups. Community-based services are
provided to outreach groups and people living with HIV/AIDS needing
rehabilititative support, especially discharged inmates from rehabilitation
centers and prisons.


Provision of care and support to those infected and affected with HIV infection
is very essential. To make the services available, the Government has
integrated the management of HIV and STDs (using syndrome mix approach)
at the primary care level.


SECTION 9: GENDER EQUALITY AND DEVELOPMENT


In Malaysia, efforts toward empowerment of women are integrated and
incorporated into various five-year development plans. Through continuous
efforts of the Government in providing an enabling environment, women
continued to participate in and contribute towards the social and economic
development of the country.    The current Eighth Malaysia Plan (2001-2005)
has continued to address women‟s concerns and to enhance the role, position
and status of women to ensure their participation as equal partners in national
development. Under the current plan, women will be provided with the skills
and knowledge to cope with the challenges of globalization and fulfill the
needs of a knowledge-based economy.


The Government‟s commitment towards gender equality is manifested
through the formulation of various policies such as the National Policy for
Women, the Plan of Action for the Advancement of Women and through the
enactment of legislation and amendments of various laws. In February 2001,



                                                                            21
the Government established the Ministry of Women and Family Development
to   coordinate   national   programmes    for   women‟s   development    and
advancement. The most recent milestone was the amendment of Article 8(2)
of the Federal Constitution in August 2001 to include the word “gender”, thus
prohibiting laws or policies from discriminating against women.


Following the adoption of a National Policy on Women in 1989, a National
Plan of Action on Women has been formulated in 1997. Both are aimed at
ensuring an equitable sharing of the acquisition of resources, information,
opportunities and benefits of development for men and women, and in
integrating women in all sectors of development in accordance with their
capabilities and needs in order to enhance the quality of life, alleviation of
poverty, ignorance and illiteracy.


The progress of women‟s advancement in Malaysia is evident in many
sectors. Maternal mortality ratio is currently around 20 per 100,000 and
women are expected to live up to 75 years as compared to 70 years among
males. Primary education is almost universal with literacy rate of more than
85 percent among females aged 10 and above. The greater number of
females pursuing higher education has enabled almost half of the women into
the employment sector. Women today are more visible in business with the
majority being self-employed in small-scale trades and services. Female
Labour Force Participation Rate (FLFPR) has increased from 41.9 per cent in
1991 to 44.5 per cent in 2000.


Recognising that increasing poverty among women is a world-wide
phenomenon, various efforts were undertaken by the government and non-
governmental organisations to reduce the incidence of poverty among
women, over and above the overall poverty redressal programmes of the
country. The special programmes include the provision of micro-credit
facilities to some 22,850 women to facilitate their involvement in small
businesses. Loan and credit schemes operated by banks are not gender




                                                                           22
biased and micro-credit facilities are available through Amanah Ikhtiar
Malaysia aimed at helping to reduce poverty and increase self-reliance.


Training programmes were also conducted to assist single mothers gain
employment. In view of rising incidence of poverty among female-headed
households, from 15.1 per cent in 1997 to 16.1 per cent in 1999, special
efforts will be undertaken in favour of this group. Towards this end, research
on the problems faced by women as head of households will be undertaken.
Special emphasis will continue to be given to the empowerment of rural
women. Various programmes specifically targeted to these women have been
formulated and implemented, such as the establishment of women extension
groups and the establishment of one-stop centres to assist rural female-
headed households.


Malaysian women have made significant progress in almost all spheres of
development since the Bali Declaration, 1992 and the 1994 International
Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo. However,
several obstacles and constraints to the further advancement towards gender
equality and development continue to exist that may hinder the achievement
of the goals set by ICPD and ICPD+5. These include discriminations based on
perceptions, inadequacies in existing legislations as well as legal illiteracy
among women. Efforts have been taken to amend legal provisions which are
discriminatory or that are disadvantageous to women. Among the legislations
emphasised are those related to marriage and divorce; child protection;
domestic violence; guardianship of infants; and employment.            Gender
sensitisation programmes have been implemented to effect perceptual and
attitudinal changes and the promotion of equitable family responsibilities
through information dissemination, education and training activities. Realising
the importance women to become more aware of their rights, the Ministry of
Women and       Family Development      in   collaboration   with   NGOs   had
implemented legal literacy campaigns for women.




                                                                            23
Reproductive health has generally been seen as female concerns especially
with regard to family planning practices. Male participation is still relatively
low. However, efforts have been intensified since Bali and ICPD in promoting
greater participation of males in reproductive health in particular and in
household activities in general. A fatherhood educational module has been
developed and implemented by the National Population and Family
Development Board since 1997 in an effort to increase male participation in
reproductive health responsibilities and the upbringing of children.           To
promote both awareness and commitment of government ministries and
agencies, especially those responsible for policy and programme formulation,
gender    sensitising   training   programmes      including   issues   on    male
responsibilities in the areas of reproductive health are continuously held.


While access to education, employment and other services are generally free
from gender biases, there still exist some disparities at the family and
individual levels as well as certain           geographic regions that have
consequences on reproductive health. It is hoped that with more effective
information dissemination, education and training, such disparities could be
eliminated.


SECTION 10: INFORMATION, EDUCATION AND COMMUNICATION (IEC),
            ADVOCACY AND ICT AS TOOLS FOR POPULATION
            DEVELOPMENT AND POVERTY REDUCTION



The ability to create, distribute and exploit knowledge and information is often
regarded as the single most important factor underlying economic growth and
improvements in the quality of life. A knowledge-based economy presents the
way forward to achieve sustainable rapid growth and remain globally
competitive in the medium and long term. Recognising that information and
communication technology (ICT) is an important enabling tool towards
achieving this objective, the Government of Malaysia undertook various
initiatives to facilitate the greater adoption and diffusion of ICT to improve
capacities in every field of business, industry and life in general.




                                                                                24
The Seventh Malaysia Plan period (1996 - 2000) saw a rapid growth in ICT
utilisation. This was largely due to the increasing awareness of Malaysians
on the importance of ICT in education, economic development and poverty
eradication. The provision of special incentives such as the abolition of sales
tax on computers and components, and the granting of accelerated capital
allowance for expenses on computers and other ICT equipment also assisted
in increasing the usage of ICT.


The number of personal computers (PCs) installed rose dramatically from
610,000 in 1995 to 2.2 million in 2000.       The number of PCs per 1,000
population also rose from 29.5 in 1995 to 95.7 in 2000. During this period, the
usage of the Internet by households also increased. The number of Internet
subscribers increased from 13,000 in 1995 to about 1.2 million in 2000, a
phenomenal rate of growth of 145.2 per cent per annum. TMNet, Maxisnet
and JARING are the Internet Service Providers (ISP) in the country. Despite
the phenomenal growth, the penetration rates are still low at 9.0 per cent of
the population for PCs and 7.0 per cent for the Internet.


Several programmes and projects were implemented by the Government as
part of the efforts to increase ICT usage among the population. The Gerakan
Desa Wawasan was launched in 1996 to increase the awareness of the rural
population to participate actively in bringing about change and development to
their areas. Under this programme, the Village Development and Security
Committees were given computer facilities not only to assist in the
management and administration of the villages but as an initial step to
introduce ICT at the village level. By the end of 2000, a total of 955 villages
benefited from this programme.


The Internet Desa programme was launched in March 2000 at two pilot
locations, namely, Sg. Ayer Tawar, Selangor and Kanowit, Sarawak. The
programme involved the provision of ICT infrastructure at post offices and the
launching of web sites that provided information on government services,
local events and activities as well as free electronic mail (e-mail) and Internet



                                                                              25
facilities. Initial evaluation revealed that there were 55 to 70 users per week,
many of whom were students. By the end of year 2000, a total of 12 such
centers were implemented throughout the country. Another project that was
implemented to promote ICT awareness and usage was the E-Bario project
initiated by the Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas). Under this project,
computers and Internet access were provided to schools to become
community centers of learning.


The Government of Malaysia has prepared a National IT Agenda to transform
the nation into a knowledge-based society in line with Vision 2020. This
agenda focused on human development and leveraging on the public-private
sector partnership programmes. The framework was based on the balanced
development of three key elements - namely people, infostructure and
applications.


During the Eighth Malaysia Plan (2001 - 2005), more concerted efforts will be
undertaken to position Malaysia as a competitive knowledge-based economy,
with ICT facilitating the development. In this regard, the ICT infrastructure will
be expanded, particularly to rural areas to bridge the digital divide and enable
all citizens to have equitable access to knowledge and information. Emphasis
will be given to human resource development and network infrastructure to
enable Malaysians to benefit fully from rapid technological developments.


Social and equity objectives will remain a fundamental consideration with the
added responsibility of ensuring that the knowledge-based economy does not
widen disparities between various sections of the Malaysian society.
Strategies will be designed to enable all Malaysians to gain from the
opportunities created through the knowledge-based economy.


Telecommunications infrastructure will be expanded throughout the country to
achieve total connectivity. The focus will be to ensure widespread diffusion of
ICT and access to rural areas and disadvantaged groups. Computers and
Internet access will be made more affordable. The Government in partnership



                                                                               26
with the private sector will introduce ICT literacy programmes to educate
targeted population groups based on their needs and capability. They will also
provide     appropriate   opportunities   and    financial   assistance   to   the
disadvantaged to be an active participant in the knowledge-based economy.
In addition, efforts will be taken to create greater awareness on the
importance of the knowledge-based economy, particularly among the poor
and the lower income group as well as to ensure their equitable participation.


Malaysia has made significant strides in increasing the information and
knowledge content in all economic activities. In developing further the
knowledge-based economy, Malaysia will leverage on the knowledge
accumulated from the implementation of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC)
since 1996. Efforts will be intensified in the provision of access, particularly of
the rural population, to the necessary infrastructure and infostructure. This will
enable all Malaysians to take advantage of advances in ICT to improve
efficiency and productivity, thus contributing to the increased overall
competitiveness of the economy. Additional measures will also be undertaken
to enhance human resource development to provide adequate skilled and
knowledge manpower to support the knowledge-based economy.


SECTION 11: DATA, RESEARCH AND TRAINING


Malaysia is fortunate in being relatively well endowed with data on population
and vital social statistics. Presently, various agencies and institutions are
actively involved in population related research in terms of data collection and
analysis. The National Population and Family Development Board, in
accordance with its enabling Act of 1966 (Revised 1998), is responsible for
the promotion of research efforts on the inter-relationships between social,
cultural, economic and demographic changes as well as studies relating to
fertility and birth.


Apart from the population censuses and the vital registration system, which
furnish reliable data on births and deaths that are undertaken by the



                                                                                27
Department of Statistics, several large-scale demographic studies have also
been carried out by other agencies in the country. These surveys, which are
conducted with the view to monitoring changes within the general population
and family system, provide      vital inputs for planning particularly for the
preparation of the five-year development plans and their mid-term reviews.
One such study, the Malaysia Population and Family Survey has been
conducted every ten years since 1974 by the NPFDB. Our latest Population
and Housing Census was conducted in year 2000 and the Fourth Malaysia
Population and Family Survey will be conducted in year 2004. In addition, the
NPFDB also undertakes biomedical research on reproductive health as well
as the psychosocial aspect of families as the critical components of its
population programme.


One major project, which the NPFDB is presently embarking on, is the
establishment of the national and sub-national population information system.
This project, which involves the collection of both primary and secondary
population related data linked to the central system, is aimed at
complementing the census data required for planning at the state and local
levels. It will be accessible to planners, programme managers and
researchers through on-line and networking.


While there has been marked improvement in the collection, analysis and
dissemination of research data, many gaps remain with regard to the
coverage of certain population related sectors. Gender specific information,
which are needed to enhance and monitor the sensitivity of development
policies and programmes are still insufficient. Measurement of migration,
particularly at the sub-national levels, is also among the areas least covered.
Information or data on the ageing situation is usually available through census
data. As these are usually in the form of aggregated data, more micro
information should be made available for planning purposes. Disaggregated
data are available through sample surveys but their numbers and coverage
are somewhat lacking. Specific demographic and socio-economic research is
clearly needed to enable programmes to take into account the views of their



                                                                            28
intended beneficiaries, especially women, the young, the aged, the
disadvantaged and other less empowered groups, and to respond to the
specific needs of those groups and communities.
The changing orientation in planning is making it necessary for local level
administrators and planners to be capable of using data and information to
make informed policy decisions. A better integration of population factors in
development planning will necessarily demand a better understanding of the
inter-relationships between population and development and the skills in the
usage of research findings. Towards this end, the NPFDB has developed
training packages, viz, I) Population and Development Training Module; ii)
Population, Environment and Development Training Module; and iii)
Demographic Data Collection, Analysis and Presentation for Programme
Planning Training Module. These training packages are currently being used
to train national and local level administrators and planners of relevant
sectoral agencies.


 SECTION 12: PARTNERSHIP AND RESOURCES


The role of the civil society organisations in the formulation and
implementation of population and poverty programmes has been recognised
and supported in Malaysia. Civil society organisations and non-governmental
organisations such as the Federation of Family Planning Associations of
Malaysia, Malaysian NGO Coordinating Committee for Reproductive Health,
Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia, Malaysian AIDS Council to name a few, have been
pivotal to the success of the reproductive health and poverty alleviation
programmes in the country.


As the organisations closest to the community and being in a better position to
mobilise public opinion and attitudinal changes, especially on sensitive
population issues such as HIV/AIDS, adolescent sexuality and reproductive
health, the role of civil society organisations cannot be denied. Government
support for these organisations has been increasing. Although civil society
organisations involvement in policy formulation is somewhat limited, their role



                                                                            29
in   programme      implementation      is   viewed   as   supplementing     and
complementing those already being implemented by government agencies.
With no bureaucracy, they can tackle specific and emerging issues quickly.
Since ICPD, a directory of NGOs involved in social development related
programmes and activities has been produced and regularly updated to
facilitate greater smart partnership.


Recognizing the role played by civil society organisation, a yearly grant was
given by the government to NGOs to enable them to play a more effective role
in grassroots activities. Reflecting the nation‟s commitment to reduce poverty
to 0.5 per cent by 2005, a large allocation has been earmarked to implement
programmes aimed at reducing poverty under the current development plan.
Similarly, large allocations are being provided to accelerate low and medium
cost housing programmes and improve community development while
allocations for youth and women development have been increased.


SECTION 13: OTHER MATTERS


In the implementation of the ICPD-POA, Malaysia still maintained its position,
stance and reservations on specific issues that were raised during the ICPD in
1994 and ICPD+5 in 1999 such as: -


       a.     Our concept of the family is the traditional family formed out of a
              marriage/registered union between a man and a woman, and
              comprising children and extended family. We do not agree to
              families formed by other unions other than marriage/registered
              union nor union of the same sex. This concept differed from
              those of the western and developed countries that upheld the
              view that the family must be considered in all its forms reflecting
              the realities of today.


       b.     Malaysia agreed that the broad package of reproductive health
              services including family planning; sexual health; prevention and



                                                                              30
     treatment of STD/HIV/AIDS; management of cancers and
     reproductive tract infections; and the humane management of
     complications of abortion be part of primary health care system.


c.   Adolescent reproductive health and sexuality has become an
     important agenda in the implementation of ICPD-POA. This is in
     view of the increasing incidence of sexual activities among the
     young, unwanted teenage pregnancies, abandoned babies and
     HIV/AIDS. Malaysia does not restrict the access of adolescents
     to reproductive health information and services. Malaysia
     stressed   that   designing   programmes       and   strategies   for
     adolescent and youth requires a cautious and sensitive
     approach acceptable to religious and cultural norms. Making
     contraceptive services available to adolescents is not agreeable.


d.   Reproductive rights recognised the basic rights of couples or
     individuals to decide freely on the number, spacing and timing of
     their children but in the Malaysian context, unmarried individuals
     or women who choose to be pregnant or bear a child are not
     condoned as it is against our religion, ethics, values and
     morality. Malaysia agreed that adolescents have the rights to
     reproductive health information, knowledge, counseling and
     education but not to contraceptive services.


e.   Malaysia does not agree to the provision of abortion as a means
     of family planning but agreed that attention be given to the
     prevention of unsafe abortions and its complications be
     recognized as a major public health problem and the humane
     management of complication of abortion be provided as part of
     the reproductive health package.


f.   Malaysia took a position that family reunification of immigrants
     could not be seen as a right but more as a principle and which is



                                                                       31
               subject to national sovereignty. Malaysia held its reservation on
               the requirement for countries to recognise the vital importance of
               family reunification and promote its integration into the national
               legislation in order to ensure the protection of the unity of
               families of documented migrants.


In conclusion, Malaysia is committed in implementing both the Bali
Declaration on Population and Sustainable Development and ICPD
Programme of Action (ICPD-POA) and as such has initiated changes in
policies; programmes; institutional and organisational framework among
others to support the ICPD-POA. In the past, population was a game of
numbers and many of our population programmes were linked mainly to
demographic goals and targets. The ICPD has introduced a whole new
paradigm for change from this concept to a more realistic and humane one,
which has helped place population concerns at the heart of sustainable
development. Towards this end, our existing population programmes have
been revised along thematic areas of concern and priorities of the country in
line with ICPD-POA that is reproductive health, adolescent reproductive
health, family and women in the context of social equitability, poverty
alleviation and environmentally sound development.




National Population and Family Development Board,
Ministry of Women and Family Development,
MALAYSIA

WH/Country Report/030902




                                                                              32
                                     Table 1
                        Population Size and Age Structure
                             Malaysia, 1980 – 2020

                             1980            1991   2000    2020

Total Population
(million)                    13.7            18.5   23.3    33.4

Average Annual
Growth Rate (%)               2.3            2.64   2.6     1.8

Age Structure (%)

       0 – 14                39.6            37.2   33.1    30.5
      15 – 64                56.7            59.1   62.9    63.3
    65 & above                3.7             3.7    4.0     6.1

Dependency
Ratio (%)                    76.4            69.2   59.1    57.8


Source: Department of Statistics, Malaysia
        Eighth Malaysia Plan, 2001-2005




                                                                   33
                                                   TABLE 2

          INCIDENCE OF POVERTY AND NUMBER OF POOR HOUSEHOLDS,
                        MALAYSIA, 1995, 1997 AND 1999
                                                                              1                                              1
                                  1995                                       1997                             1999
                            Total    Urban           Rural      Total        Urban       Rural     Total      Urban       Rural
 Malaysian
  Citizens

Incidence          (%)          8.7          3.6        14.9           6.1         2.1     10.9        7.5          3.4     12.4
of Poverty

Number of       („000)       365.6         83.8       281.8      274.2            52.4    221.8     351.1          86.8    264.3
Poor
Households

Incidence          (%)          2.1 2        0.9         3.6           1.4         0.4       2.5       1.4          0.5          2.4
of Hardcore
Poverty

Number of       („000)         88.4        20.1         68.3      62.4            10.6     51.8      64.1          13.5     50.6
Hardcore-
Poor
Households
   Total        (‘000)     4,212.3      2,315.8     1,896.5    4,488.1       2,449.8     2,038.3   4,681.5    2,548.0     2,133.5
Households

  Overall

Incidence          (%)          9.3          4.1        15.6           6.8         2.4     11.8        8.1          3.8     13.2
of Poverty

Number of       („000)       418.3         99.3       319.0      332.4            64.9    267.5     409.3         102.7    306.6
Poor
Households

Incidence          (%)          2.1 2        0.9         3.5           1.4         0.5       2.4       1.4          0.6          2.4
of Hardcore
Poverty

Number of       („000)         94.0        21.8         72.2      67.5            12.2     55.3      71.1          15.6     55.5
Hardcore-
Poor
Households
   Total        (‘000)     4,497.7      2,449.7     2,048.0    4,924.0       2,660.1     2,263.9   5,047.0    5,725.9     2,321.1
Households


Notes :

    1         Revised based on the latest household population data.

    2         Estimated using half the poverty line income.




                                                                                                             34
                                    Table 3
                    Crude Birth Rate and Total Fertility Rate
                            Malaysia, 1970 – 2000

                                    1970         1980           1990    2000


     Crude Birth Rate               32.4         30.6           27.9     24.4
     Total Fertility Rate            4.9          3.9            3.3     3.1



Note: TFR for 1970 and 1980 refer to Peninsular Malaysia only
   Source: Department of Statistics Malaysia




                                       Table 4
                           Mortality Indicators, Malaysia
                                    1970 – 2000


 Year       Crude      Perinatal Toddler    Infant   Maternal               Life
            Death      Mortality Mortality Mortality Mortality          Expectancy
            Rate        Rate      Rate       Rate     Rate             Male    Female


 1970         7.0        36.9          4.2        40.8          1.48   63.5     68.2
 1975         6.2        32.0          3.1        33.2          0.83   65.4     70.8
 1980         5.5        26.7          2.0        24.9          0.63   68.0     72.0
 1985         5.3        18.0          1.4        23.0          0.37   68.5     73.0
 1990         4.9        13.9          0.9        12.0          0.20   69.0     74.0
 1995         5.0         9.7          0.8        10.3          0.20   69.4     74.2
 2000         4.6         6.5          0.1        7.9           0.20   69.9     74.9

Source: a. Eighth Malaysia Plan, 2001-2005
        b. Department of Statistics, Malaysia




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