Muhyiddin: Those In B40 Are Becoming B50

During a recent townhall session in Sabah, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin signalled that the B40s in Malaysia is edging towards B50. He added that the M40s are becoming poor due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Muhyiddin in Sabah
Source: fotoBERNAMA (2021) COPYRIGHT RESERVED

The government’s efforts are also focused on addressing poverty and strengthening inclusive development in Sabah … the Covid-19 pandemic impacted most of our people, with those in B40 becoming B50, M40 now the poor. This is a serious matter, how do we want to give inclusive development for Sabah.


PM Muhyiddin Yassin, 23 March 2021

The World Bank profiled a new demographics called the ‘new poor’, back in August 2020 – indicating those who were affected economically from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The new poor is defined as those expected to be non-poor in 2020 prior to the Covid-19 outbreak but are now expected to be poor in 2020. In Malaysia, this crisis projects to push a further 800,000[2] people into poverty if no aid and attention is given to them.[1]. This is in addition to the 400,000 households that are already poor[1].

In May 2020, Malaysia hit a 27-year high when unemployment rose to 5.3% from an average of 3% pre-Covid[3]. This number had a modest recovery of 4.9% in January 2021 which is still a high number. 

Watch the video here

Explore our sources:

  1. The World Bank (2020). Profiles of the new poor due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Link
  2. Wiki Impact. (2020). 7 Facts about the pandemic and its impact on poverty in Malaysia. Link. 
  3. S. A. Shah. (2021). Malaysia’s Unemployment Rate Reached 27-year high. Link

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