Target of high income nation 'still well in sight'
Rising annual per capita income bodes well for achieving target by 2020, says Nor Mohamed Yakcop
TASEK GELUGOR: MALAYSIA is on the right track to becoming a high-income nation by 2020 with the creation of more middle and high-income earners.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop said the total personal income tax collected last year surpassed the amount collected from the corporate sector, proving that the pool of middle and high-income earners was increasing at a favourable rate.
At the end of last year, annual per capita income in Malaysia rose to more than RM28,000 (US$9,000) compared with only RM1,159 (US$376) in 1970, he said.
He added that the people's income was also only one level away from reaching developed country status and expressed confidence that the country would achieve the target of RM29,000 by 2020.
"We have reached the ceiling of the higher middle-income level and the challenge now is to achieve the high-income nation status by 2020 and we are confident of reaching the goal," he said after a meet-the-people session at Kampung Labuh Banting, Sungai Dua here yesterday.
Nor Mohamed, who is also Tasek Gelugor member of parliament, said the higher revenue also showed the effectiveness of the country's tax collection system.
It was reported that government revenue rose by 16.1 per cent to RM185.4 billion last year compared with RM159.7 billion in the previous year. The Inland Revenue Board collected RM102.2 billion last year, a 29.4 per cent jump compared with RM79 billion collected in 2010, the highest collection recorded by the board.
However, he said the government would continue with its focus on elevating the socio-economic status of the 40 per cent low-income group earners.
On the country's economic development, he said that although the economic climate in Europe was getting more uncertain, Malaysia's economy had continued to expand as shown by the significant rise in per capita income since 1970.
The American economy, which has started to recover, had also contributed to this improvement, he said. The rate of unemployment in the United States has been reported to be improving while production has gone up in that country, he said.