The cascading effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have hit national and global economies hard, with rising inflation and looming recession. While Malaysia’s economy has returned to growth, Malaysians, particularly the poor, youth and women, are faced with longer-term socioeconomic challenges.
A recent Covid-adjusted pilot Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) study conducted on low-income households in Permatang Pauh found that women-led households faced a higher deprivation score compared to households headed by men during the first years of the pandemic. Further, children from low-income households not only experienced nutritional poverty but also risked becoming a ‘dropout generation’. Disruptions to education and job and income losses particularly among the youth will worsen intergenerational inequality. The aged poor are another segment of concern. The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) estimates that 73% of its members will not be able to meet its Basic Savings threshold of RM240,000 at age 55. Some 46% of contributors below 55 have less than RM10,000 in their EPF accounts.
This seminar will explore the following questions:
- What are the immediate and longer-term socioeconomic challenges for key vulnerable groups?
- Which institutions and relevant players can do more to shape their outcomes positively?
- What are the necessary policy responses, and what are the obstacles?
About the Speaker
Nurul Izzah Anwar is the Member of Parliament for Permatang Pauh, serving her third term in the Malaysian legislature. Her political career began with the creation of the People’s Justice Party (KEADILAN) in 1999. She served as the political party’s thrice elected Vice President and Co-Election Director until 2018. She is a founding member of the previous Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Caucus, and is on the committee of the Inter-Parliamentary Union Malaysia.
Currently, she serves on the Public Accounts Committee and is KEADILAN Spokesperson for the Ministry of Women, Family, and Community Development. She is also an active member of the All Party Parliamentary Group Malaysia for the Reform of All Places of Detention (APPGM), where she continues to reiterate her calls for reforms of all places of detention.