The BN-led Perak state government has been urged to apologise to the people and stop twisting the issue of poverty in the state, following a report which placed Perak as the second poorest state in the country.
“The state government should stop spinning the issue and apologise immediately to the people of this state and to announce its policies and plans to raise the income level of the people to free them from the shackles of poverty," Pakatan Harapan Perak said in a statement today.
This comes after the Khazanah Research Institute's (KRI) latest state of household report II showed that Perak is now the second poorest state in Malaysia, behind Kelantan.
The report stated that 81.1 percent of families in Perak earns less than RM6,000 per month, which is the national average income level.
Kelantan is the poorest state with 84.8 percent of their families earning below the national average income level, while Perlis and Pahang are the third poorest state at 80.3 percent.
Pakatan Harapan noted that the three poorest states are governed by BN and PAS, while Penang and Selangor, which are Pakatan-led, performed much better, at third and seventh place.
It added that Perak's performance was worse than initially thought as it was also the third lowest in terms of means and average household income.
"Even though the Perak BN state government is angry with this Khazanah Institute report, the anger from Menteri Besar Zambry Abdul Kadir (left in top photo) does not change the unfortunate fate of the people of Perak at all.
"Instead it merely exposes the weak performance of the BN state government led by him," Pakatan Harapan said.
Even though the state government also tried to 'cover up' its weakness by claiming it has succeeded in reducing the poverty rate in Perak, Pakatan Harapan pointed out that BN's definition of poverty was to “fool the people” and was “absurd'.
The state government's explanation that Perak's gross domestic product had a growth of 37.07 percent in a period of five years also did not make sense at all, the statement said.
In a separate statement, Amanah Youth Perak said that it hoped the state government would view the KRI report seriously.
"The state government should accept the findings of the report from an unbiased source like KRI with an open mind," it said.
It also said that it was not surprised by the findings as it often saw the reality of life for the people of Perak.
"The KRI report has put into words the reality of the suffering of the masses which might not have been noticed by those in power.
"The people would certainly welcome the findings in this report and hope that there is renewed light for their fate and future," it said.