Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Impacts on the Implementation of Social Policy: Comparative Study in Malaysia and Indonesia

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Impacts on the Implementation of Social Policy: Comparative Study in Malaysia and Indonesia

Article excerpt

Abstract

Prolonged debate exists concerning the effectiveness of anti-poverty programs through micro-credit to the well-being of the poor. Some studies showed that microcredit have positive impact to the poor people's lives. However, other studies stated that what actually seemed as a remedy is actually just an increase in the business income that does not necessarily bring about to a better well-being of the poor. This paper identifies the impact of the implementation of social interventions brought in through micro-credit schemes of poverty alleviation programs for the welfare being of society in Malaysia and Indonesia. The methodology used was a combination of the quantitative and qualitative methods aimed to get the maximum results based on Standard Model of Social Development. Data analysis performed on the respondents indicated four factors leading to the failure of the welfare of the community. These factors are social networks, community participation, community development and employment opportunities. This research suggests that agencies involved in poverty alleviation through micro-credit schemes must carry out appropriate efforts towards the empowerment and active participation of the respondents in social and economic investment as stated in the Standard Model of Social Development.

Keywords: economic investment, investment, microcredit, social, social policy, standard model of social development

1. Introduction

A look at the history of the development and progress of Malaysia and Indonesia since the 1950's shows that both countries have gone through several phases of transformation: social, economic, educational, cultural, political and technological (Ahmad Atory, 1990). Efforts towards the eradication of poverty of the two countries show that various social policies were implemented to increase income and improve the living standards of their citizens. In Malaysia, the government launched the New Economic Policy (NEP) in 1971 aiming to eradicate poverty and restructure society. NEP was fundamental to national development policies by eliminating economic disparities between ethnic groups and regions (Meerman, 1979). In Indonesia, the government introduced the Presidential Primary School between the years 1973-1974 and 1978-1979, which succeeded in creating greater educational opportunities to the residents of the country (Syahrul, 2009; Musni, 2007). The implementation of these social and economic policy have effectively managed to improve the lives of rural communities.

In Malaysia, poverty eradication efforts were further diversified in many areas and special agencies were set up to develop rural areas. Among them were the establishment of Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA), Federal Land Consolidation And Rehabilitaiton Authority (FELCRA), Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (RISDA), Amanah Saham Bumiputera and Gerakan Desa Wawasan. The implementation of various poverty alleviation programs has contributed to a significant decline in the poverty rate. Statistics of poverty in Malaysia has dropped to 1.7 percent in 2012. In the period 2000-2010, the quality of life has improved, particularly in education, transportation, communication and housing (Economic Planning Unit, 2012).

The Indonesian government also introduced various programs to remove people from the cycle of poverty. Among the programs introduced were the Rural Underdeveloped Instruction, Rural Underdeveloped Infrastructure Development Construction Program, and Urban Poverty Prevention Program. These efforts have been successful in reducing the poverty rate to 12.4 percent, an increase in the rate of literacy, access to education and better facilities (Badan Pusat Statistik, 2013).

While the poverty rate in Malaysia showed a decline, there are still issues related to the impact of poverty alleviation programs on quality of life of the poor. One pressing issue is the ability of anti-poverty programs towards changing the living conditions of poor communities. …

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