Putrajaya said Malaysia's poverty has been reduced from 49.3% in 1970 to 1.7% in year 2012.
However, in the United States more than 43 million people, representing 14.5% of the population, live below the poverty line. Single Americans below the poverty threshold earn less than $12,000 per year, and the average family of three earns less than$19,600.
Whether poverty has declined in Malaysia depends on how it is measured. An example is Putrajaya's reliance on "absolute poverty" figures, which according to a United Nations report, results in data that does not reflect reality.
If we follow United States standard, I believe Malaysia will have not less than 20% of its population live below the poverty line.
“Relative poverty, which measures the number of households living with less than half of the median income, is a better approach to assess inclusiveness compared to absolute poverty, which measures the number of households living below the poverty line.” “If poverty is measured using the relative poverty rate (defined as less than half of the median income) as suggested in the New Economic Model, about 20% of Malaysian households are considered poor,”
See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/putrajaya-claims-reduced-poverty-but-un-report-shows-more-poor-malaysians#sthash.6fc0Q9XR.dpuf