After giving a brief rundown on Malaysia as a whole, Kee Hian then touched on the core of the subject.
It was against the backdrop of Malaysia that Kee Hian posed several thought-provoking questions to the audience. Economically and socially, how the State has been performing in comparison with the nation?
Over the past 20 years, Kee Hian noted that Sarawak pretty much grew in tandem with the nation.
Socially, Sarawak has plenty of room for catching up. Our Millennium Development Goal (MGD) 1 is to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. Are Sarawakians better off or worse off than the rest of Malaysians?
In terms of Incidence of Poverty, Sarawak is above the national average.
Kee Hian quoted Dr. Richard Leete, UNDP Resident Representative for Malaysia, saying," At the aggregate level, Sarawak has an enviable record of development and an overall poverty level of just 8% in 2004. However, development in the rural areas has been less spectacular, and the rural poverty rate was 14% in 2004."
Sarawak also lies above the national average on Children Under-five with Moderate Malnutrition and Children Under-five with Severe Malnutrition.
On MDG Goal 8 which is to develop and implement strategies for decent and productive work for youth, Sarawak also stays above the national average in Unemployment Rate of 15-24 year olds.
The above shows that we are obviously worse off than the national average in the social aspects.