Malaysia has received the thumbs up from the United Nations (UN) for having made impressive strides in reducing poverty since achieving independence in 1957.

Today Malaysia is considered as an upper middle income country with high human development index, according to Bernama.

The news agency on Dec. 20 quoted Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, as saying in a report that between 1995 and 2012, the incidence of aggregate Malaysian poverty was reduced from 8.9 to 1.7 percent and urban poverty reduced from 3.7 percent to 1.0 percent.

The rural poverty, a major cause of concern at one time, was reduced from 15.3 percent to 3.4 percent.

In his recent Malaysia visit, De Schutter said that disparities in income levels amongst Malaysia 's 13 states and three Federal Territories have also been narrowing. The poorest state, Sabah has experienced the highest reduction in poverty, from 19.7 percent in 2009 to 6.1 percent in 2012.

The number of people living in hardcore poverty, unable to meet their basic food needs, has decreased from 0.7 percent in 2009 to 0.2 percent in 2012.

De Schutter's report would be presented on March 10, 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland to the 47-member Human Rights Council.-VNA