According to World Bank, Malaysia is among the most urbanised countries of East Asia, and its urban population continues to increase rapidly, about 10% in 10 years (2000-2010) from 10.2 million (43% of the total population) to 15 million (53%).
The absolute poverty rate in urban areas has decreased considerably in the last 10 years. 0.1% of urbanites are still considered extreme poor and about 0.6% are considered poor – which we could easily summarise, there are about 100,000 urban populations in Malaysia trapping in poverty.
That figure is only considering absolute poverty factor. How about relative poverty factor?
Malaysia Human Development Report from UNDP says relative poverty has emerged as a growing concern in recent years in Malaysia.
To make the problem worse, the unemployment rate in Malaysia increase to 3.3% (478.1 million unemployed) in December 2015 from 3.2% (453.3 million unemployed) in November.
How about disabled people?
The situation isn’t far better.
There are less than 1% of disabled in government services. We are talking about the opportunities and discrimination. Until 2015, statistic shows 354,874 disabled was registered. Unfortunately, only 3.43% (about 12000) employed. Where are the others?
Don’t we have any good policies that address those problems?
Yes, we do have.
For instance, we have a policy such as the National Urbanisation Policy in 2006, however, according to UNICEF, the urbanisation itself has led to the creation of urban pockets that contain vulnerable population groups, including increasing the number of homeless.
Isn’t it being the policy that should carry the measurements and parameters that considering all the ends, either its effectiveness or impacts on the addressed group?
But, why all of these happened anyway?
These are the questions we keen to answer.
Therefore, here we are, establishing an independent non-profit, Initiative for Malaysian Humanitarian (INSAN).
INSAN will be the first public policy research and advocacy think tank focusing on humanitarian policy and management in Malaysia with a goal to make public policies work for the people.
We are outlining our THREE main targeting societal groups, i.e. urban poor, disabled and homeless.
The context as prior explained provides tremendous opportunities for INSAN to inform, shape and influence public policies at different levels for those affected by bridging the disconnect between public policy, policy outreach and policy implementation.
INSAN set 3 main pillars on how we are working and deliver; (i) advocacy, (ii) human development, and (iii) volunteerism.
People who hear this pitching, might ask, should we do what it takes to do to address the problems, what impacts do we implore and deem for and how we plan to measure it?
At the moment, INSAN still don’t have a significant impact yet for the showcase, and to be realistic, this will take time.
However, I strongly believe INSAN would impact thousands of targeted groups once we fulfil our strategic priorities in the first year of operation (we called it as a start-up phase).
Those strategic priorities are building a strong management team, finding an efficient Board of Trustees, securing seed funding for launching and piloting the planning ideas and increase participation among the youths through media branding and advocating activities.
Come aboard, fight with us for this cause. Help us to grow. We need financial backup. We need grants. We need research fellows and experts.
Because we want to execute – we don’t want to entrap forever in ideation stage. We appeal to you to help us, to make policies work for those peoples.