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COMMENT | What makes people of poorest state, Kelantan, so happy

COMMENT | To understand why Kelantan, Malaysia’s poorest state in terms of income per capita, ranked so high (fifth) on the Malaysia Happiness Index, we need to first look at a strange statistic. 

In 1991, an average man in Malaysia lived for 69 years. In the next 25 years, the country’s social and economic progress created more opportunities for healthcare, education, and jobs, pushing the national life expectancy to 72.7 years.

Kelantan’s male populous, however, continued to live only for 69.2 years, throwing it a generation’s progress behind the rest. 

For years, nobody understood why Kelantanese men died so young. 

Journalist Aidila Razak made an investigation. Was it because the Kelantanese eat more sugar? They are, after all, the only people in Malaysia who add sugar to their roti canai.

But the numbers didn’t add up. Kelantan is only ranked eighth when it comes to diabetes. 

Was it because they have the...

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