Food and Non-food Expenditure Trends Among the Poor and Needy in Kelantan, Malaysia
Keywords:Expenditure, zakat distribution, food and non-Food Expenditure, poor and needy, had kifayah, Kelantan
This article attempts to analyze the food and non-food expenditure among the poor and needy zakat recipients in Kelantan, Malaysia, which holds the lowest quartile of poor population. This study is motivated by the lack of concern in providing the perfect amount of food and non-food items in zakat distributions as a poverty alleviation program for these groups. The difference between food and non-food expenditure that does not reflect the true expenditure among the poor and needy can make poverty alleviation (zakat distribution) ineffective. The Kelantan state was selected because of their achievement of being among the highest zakat fund collectors and distributors (fourth in Malaysia and the highest among the government zakat agencies) (MAIK, 2014). Conversely, the state of Kelantan also has among the highest number of poor and needy in Malaysia (EPU, 2014). A sample of 505 households from the 2014 Household Expenditure Survey (HES) among the poor and needy zakat recipients in Kelantan is used in this study. Descriptive statistics is used to profile the pattern of household expenditure on food and non-food items, expenditure patterns of food and non-food items across poverty status and an estimation of the effects of household characteristics on food and non-food expenditures. Household characteristics include age, region (rural/urban), gender, size, and household head?s marital status. The findings show that the expenditure pattern among the poor and needy is different based on food and non-food items? shares. The result of this study indicates that not all poor and needy in Kelantan spend most of their expenditure on food items. Thus, applying the same higher food items on each poor and needy household would overstate the food expenditure and devalue the cost of non-food items. Therefore, it will create a flawed poverty line which will further create a flawed poverty assessment.