IMPACT KLANG VALLEY

Malaysia experienced extraordinary economic growth in recent decades and it led to the burgeoning of the middle class. Klang Valley (KV) as a destination has reaped the benefits of this rapid development, bringing prosperity and higher standards of living to the majority of the people. However, there remains economic and social gaps that need to be addressed. The homeless, urban poor, refugees and marginalised are part of the fabric of KV. Equity, equality and empathy must be extended to all.

Key Issues Impacting Klang Valley Today

A closer look at critical issues that affect the pulse of Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Putrajaya

Providing Hopes For The Refugees

Klang Valley is home to a large population of refugees residing in the country. Unlike migrants, refugees have lost the protection of their country’s government and they are unable to return to their home country safely. Abled, talented, educated and skilled refugees are not able to obtain formal jobs. As a result, refugees face an uphill battle trying to find their identity, footing and future in Malaysia.

Combating Youth Unemployment

The youth makes up 18% of Malaysia’s labour force and 17.8% of Malaysia’s population. Geographically, whilst the state of Sabah is struggling behind with 14% of its youths without work, Selangor and Kuala Lumpur are not far behind with 11% and 10% respectively[3]. There are a variety of unemployment factors that bring concern to the youths in the Klang Valley.

Understanding Urban Poverty

City-dwellers that fall within the B40 income category are regarded as the urban poor. Klang Valley’s urban poor communities are faced with low household income, low human, social and financial capital. The community also suffers other deprivations such as inadequate housing and job insecurity, disempowerment and lack of basic infrastructure and services, insufficient social protection, and lack of access to health care, education, and personal security.

Free From Child Poverty

Malaysia’s children are 30% of our population but 100% of our future. Their growth and development are key indicators of how a country is performing. Malaysia is constantly increasing efforts and resources into improving the lives of children in the nation. Its national budget allocation for education is one of the largest annually. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) suggests that 19% of children (1.77 million) live in relative poverty in Malaysia. The poverty they face includes challenges in all areas of life – health, education, housing conditions and employment opportunities.

Ending Homeless Struggles

Countless soup kitchens, charity drives, and public donations have been established and new ones mushroomed to take care of the homeless in Klang Valley. Food packs and items are given to them, free medical clinics, pre-loved clothes and some organisations are even helping the homeless find jobs to ensure their financial independence. Yet, there are still people on the streets and the work is not complete.

Forging Towards An Inclusive Future

The issues raised are aligned with the Global Sustainable Development Goals in order to build a future that is inclusive and sustainable for generations to come.

Fast Facts On Critical Issues In Klang Valley

Significant data points to clue you in on the current situation

  • Malaysia is experiencing rapid urbanisation. 76.61% of Malaysia’s total population live in urban areas (Statista, 2020).
  • By 2050, 88% of the population will be in urban areas (DOSM, 2020).
  • 1 in 3 adults in these households are unemployed. The pandemic has escalated unemployment problems in the city (UNICEF, 2021). 
  • 1 in 5 of the heads of households among the urban poor are self-employed. 3 in 5 (63%) cited that the reason for their income reduction is due to lack of demand. 7 in 10 (69%) female heads of households reported that there has been a decline in their business revenue (UNICEF, 2021). 
  • Not all urban poor are protected with social security. Only 1 in 20 self-employed are registered with either EPF or SOCSO (UNICEF, 2021).
  • Many of the urban poor work low-skilled jobs. They work for longer hours and earn less. 1 in 3 heads of households earns less than RM2,000 monthly (DOSM, 2019).
  • The National Household Expenditure Survey 2019 identified the monthly expenditure of urban communities to range anywhere between RM4,402 to RM4,916 per month (DOSM, 2019) . 
  • Female-led households feel the financial brunt of caring for their families. 57% were unable to purchase enough food and 56% were unable to pay bills on time (UNICEF, 2021).
  • 7 in 10 urban poor in Klang Valley have no savings (UNICEF, 2021). 
  • 60% of household heads have low education attainment. Only 60% had finished secondary school (UNICEF, 2018).
  • 2% of children among the urban poor between 7 to  17 years old are not in school (UNICEF, 2018).
  • The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) suggests that 19% of children (1.77 million) live in relative poverty in Malaysia. (UNICEF, 2019). 
  • 20.7% of children under five from urban poor households in Klang Valley struggle with stunted growth (reduced growth rate in human development) and 11.5 % from wasting (a weight falling significantly below the weight expected). (UNICEF, 2019) 
  • 12.7% of children from urban poor households have been diagnosed with obesity. This is an issue of poor health and nourishment. (UNICEF, 2019) 
  • 8 out of 10 students from urban poor families do not have access to computers and have to rely on mobile phones to access online classes.(UNICEF, 2020) 
  • Post-lockdown during the pandemic, nearly 1 in 5 parents reported their children had lost interest in schools. 3 in 5 households said this was because of either lack of internet access or no digital device. (UNICEF, 2020) 
  • Lower-income families are at a greater risk of domestic abuse [11]. In the first nine months of 2020, there were 1,120 reported cases of physical abuse, 1,373 cases of sexual abuse, 131 cases of emotional abuse, and 1,251 cases of neglect. (KPWKM, 2020)
  • Malaysia defines youth unemployment as those from 15 – 30 years old who are currently unemployed and looking for a job (DOSM, 2021).
  • Unemployment has been rising among 20-24 year olds living in urban areas and it has been perpetually high among the 15-19 year olds. Unemployment has also risen to alarmingly high levels in the young Indian labour force (ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute, 2020). 
  • Selangor recorded a youth unemployment rate of 11% while Kuala Lumpur rate was at 10% (ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute, 2020).
  • Only 33% of employed urban youths have the full suite of social protection, 27% were registered only in one scheme, but the remaining 40% are unprotected (Khazanah Research Institute, 2018).
  • Degree holders earned an average of RM2,378 per month in 2019 in Kuala Lumpur. (The Edge, 2019) 
  • Bank Negara reported that a single adult living in Kuala Lumpur would need to earn about RM2,700 a month to live comfortably. The youth in Klang Valley are not faced with unemployment issues, but they have to manage their finances amidst the rising cost of living (Bank Negara, 2018).
  • Data on homeless persons are not readily available. The Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) reported these numbers: 1,387 homeless persons in 2010, 600 homeless persons in 2014, 1500-2000 homeless persons in 2016 and 1037 homeless persons in 2017 (DBKL). 
  • 90% of the homeless are Malaysian citizens and a majority of them are male, over 50 years old and in poor health. 
  • The homeless population is incredibly vulnerable. Over 50% of the respondents unfortunately had once been a victim of crimes such as robbery or violent attacks (Think City, 2018).
  • Over 50% of this group do not have contact with family. Some are orphaned or abandoned by family (Think City, 2018). 
  • Different factors contribute to homelessness such as unemployment, poverty, old age and abandonment, substance abuse, mental and chronic illness and the lack of affordable housing (Think City, 2018).
  • Refugees, a community dominantly inhabiting Klang Valley, are not entitled to any education provided by the government. Most of these children will receive education via an informal system of more than 130 community-based learning centres. (UNHCR) 
  • There are only 7,154 out of 23,823 refugee children enrolled in community learning centres. (UNHCR, 2020)
  • 1,234 refugee children (14%) enrolled in preschool. 5,046 children aged 6 – 13 years old (44%) enrolled in a form of primary education, and 874 children (16%) aged 14-17 enrolled in secondary education. (UNHCR, 2020)
  • As Malaysia has not ratified the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees, refugees residing here are unable to hold formal jobs. (UNHCR) 
  • In 2018, Refugees were earning a median daily wage of RM50. A general construction worker made an average of RM 67 per day in 2017, while other specialities made more than RM100 per day. (Asia School of Business, 2020)
  • There are no refugee camps in Malaysia. They tend to form their own communities by living in shared living spaces with other refugee families – sometimes up to three families in one living space. (University of Malaysia, 2018)

Infographics

Visually designed data for you to share, be informed and start conversations with your friends.

Providing Hope For The Refugees

Understanding Urban Poverty

Free From Child Poverty

Combating Youth Unemployment

Ending Homeless Struggles (coming soon)

Development Policies & Aid In Klang Valley

Governments and its agencies together with local changemakers play a significant role in transforming the economic and social landscape of the place, especially for the marginalised and underprivileged communities. Below is a list of some key policies, plans and programmes that are currently in place for Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Putrajaya:

Belanjawanku: Klang Valley

An expenditure guide, providing estimated minimum monthly expenses on various types of goods and services for different households in Malaysia. Belanjawanku can help Malaysians plan their personal and family budgeting to achieve a reasonable standard of living. It is developed based on actual spending patterns on common goods and services by urban households in the Klang Valley. This guide was designed by KWSP/EPF in collaboration with University of Malaya and the Social Wellbeing Research Centre (SWRC).

Blueprint Pembasmian Kemiskinan Negeri Selangor

The ‘Blueprint Pembasmian Kemiskinan Negeri Selangor’ is a program — one out of many— under the Inisiatif Peduli Rakyat (IPR).The program was developed to improve the economic quality of target groups through the execution of sustainable economical projects which possess the potential for growth. 

This program provides assistance in the form of equipment or machinery that are necessary according to the applicants’ business. The poor and low-income groups that have the skills and expertise to start their own business — tailoring, retail business, child care, handicraft and small businesses — are the target groups of the program. 

The prime conditions for application of assistance includes a household income less than RM 1,500 a month and a permanent resident of Selangor (5 years minimum). Applicants must also be in possession of a valid business license and have operated said business for 1 year at least. 

Kasih Ibu Smart Selangor (KISS)

As a gesture of acknowledging the important role that mothers play in the family as well as the society, Kasih Ibu Smart Selangor was introduced. The program is a welfare program specifically made for mothers among the low-income groups (B40). KISS aims to reduce the burdening cost of living with the provision of financial aid for the procurement of basic necessities needed for the family. 

 

Beneficiaries of the program will be able to purchase their needs at selected shops and supermarkets cashless. The KISS card provided comes with RM 200 debited into it and it will be automatically reloaded every month. However, any remaining balance will not be brought forward. Among the things that can be purchased with the KISS card includes rice, meat, diary, cleaning products and also schooling necessity.

Mothers who are of Malaysian nationality living in Selangor for more than 10 years and are registered voters in the state are eligible for assistance. Mothers must also have a household income under RM 2,000 per month and dependents under the age of 21 years old.

Skim Ceria

Skim Ceria is a program that was created to provide the funds for reparation and restoration of the facilities in medium to low cost apartments in Selangor. The scheme also helps JMB in managing civil works, elevator maintenance as well as landscaping. Low-cost apartments with a buying price of RM 42,000 and below as well as lower medium-cost apartments priced between RM 42,001 to RM 72,000 are eligible for this scheme. 

The cost of repairs cannot exceed RM 300,000 and priority is given to facilities with critical damages. However, this scheme is not offered to applicants that requires the Certificate of Fitness for repairs to be done. Structural damages and repairs of facilities like the community park and hall are not covered for either.

Skim Bantuan Tadika Selangor (TUNAS)

This program was created to help relieve the burden of parents paying the preschool fees for their children. Every month, the state government will provide RM 50 to eligible beneficiaries which will be channeled directly to the kindergartens registered under the Majlis Permuafakatan Tadika Selangor. 

The applicant must be Malaysian with either parent and child being born or living in Selangor; a monthly household income of below RM 3,000; and the child has to be either 5 or 6 years old. 

Skim Air Darul Ehsan

The objective of the scheme is to reduce the living cost of the people of Selangor especially for the low-income group but this scheme is not limited to this income group. In order to ensure that the program reaches its objective of execution parallel to the efforts of the state government, the state assembly has called for a realignment so that this program could better cater to the target groups — the ones who are truly deserving and needy.

This free water supply program is also among the components of the restructuring proposal of the water industry in Selangor. Post realignment, 20 cubic litres of water were given to target groups in Selangor which were households earning RM4,000 and below a month. Registration for the Skim Air Darul Ehsan has also been reopened for new applications and appeals beginning April 2020 until June 2021.Other conditions that would ensure eligibility includes being a Malaysian citizen living in Selangor. However, applicants can only apply for a single premise only. 

Bantuan Am Selangor

Also known as Bantuan Kebajikan Masyarakat, this program provides temporary monetary aid worth RM350 a month for beneficiaries to purchase their essential needs in times of extreme difficulties. There are a number of criteria that needs to be met before an applicant is eligible to receive the aid. 

This aid is eligible to citizens of Selangor or if the applicant has lived in Selangor for more than 10 years. Applicants are also eligible if he or she does not fulfill the conditions for other JKM assistance schemes. Other factors that are taken into consideration include number of dependents, disability, house conditions and illnesses. Any proof that shows that the family’s financial position lies under the National Poverty Line can also be admitted for consideration. 

Pusat Tuisyen Online

Program Tuisyen Online is a program under the Human Resource Management Branch and the Selangor Foundation parallel to the efforts of the state government in developing a Smart State with Smart Education, providing better education facilities and access to students. Students will be able to access tuition programs and educational video recordings on the computer or their smartphone, replaying them as many times as they need, on any topic they want. 

This online tuition is open to all students from Primary 4 all the way to Secondary 5.

Connect With Us

Be A Changemaker Today

Drop us a line

For questions, partnerships or collaborations

Get Updated On The Impact Industry

Sign up to receive monthly updates about jobs, news and events. Promise, no spam!