Helping the B40+M40 is helping the T20: Is this the Madani government’s formula?

A COUPLE of months ago, a netizen challenged Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (PMX) why he was merely focusing on the B40 (Bottom 40% income group).

He questioned PMX why he was not doing something for those in the M40 (middle income group comprising 40% of the Malaysian population) and T20 (top 20%) groups.

He warned that if nothing was done for the M40 and T20, it would cause them to withdraw their support towards the Madani government.

Without thinking critically, one may immediately agree with him since dissatisfaction with any decision Anwar makes appears to be the tall order. This is to the point that it would be difficult for any sitting PM to run the country and do what is necessary to fix the country’s problems.

The moment Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar of Johor said that more time needs to be given for Anwar to do a good job, Anwar’s critics immediately jumped onto the TikTok bandwagon to execute a well-planned three-part series to dispute the Sultan’s views.

Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar

That the video was published on the social media is an indication that the TikToker was more interested to use his linguistic prowess – especially refined language and royal protocols as if addressing the Sultan – to shift public opinion from supporting the Madani government than to speak directly with the Sultan.

This video may also put other Malay rulers in a difficult position when what they want to express is merely to give PMX more time to run the country.

If one observes hard enough, it is not difficult to see that there is a script behind this. In the video, for example, the TikToker told His Royal Highness Sultan Ibrahim that he was representing the voices of the people.

If one observes hard enough, it is not difficult to see that there is a script behind this. In the video, for example, the TikToker told Selangor ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Sultan Idris Shah that he was representing the voices of the people.

His one liner leaves behind some hints what will follow hereafter. “Soon, this voice of the people will be heard more clearly (that Anwar does not have a proper economic plan),” he hinted.

Win-win situation

In coming months right until the next general election, expect more viralled videos of this nature to surface: cost of living has gone up, ringgit has dropped, Bursa Malaysia index is declinig and Anwar has no proper economic plans.

Who could be behind this and many other scripted and non-scripted TitTok? Perhaps, people with the deep pockets whom Anwar said are afraid that they will end up in jail and their money seized the government?

While the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) is still guiding the country’s economic direction, one of PMX’s first focus was to uplift the economic well-being of the B40 community.

Subsequently, the Cabinet agreed to include the M40 in its plan, resulting in some asking, “What about the T20?”

Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli has announced the scrapping of the B40, M40 and T20 clssification with effect from next year (2024)

It is about time that we understand that when PMX helps the economic well-being of the B40 and M40, the Madani government is indirectly helping the T20.

In countries with bigger populations like Indonesia, if the disposable income of the poor increases by a dollar – and they are able to spend it on something beyond their basic necessities – businessmen in the country would benefit the most.

Given that the lower-income group forms the majority of Indonesia’s population, the additional income that they are able to dispose collectively can be big at the end of the day.

Even in the Malaysian context, whatever that is given right now in the form of social aids for the B40 and M40 – which the T20 would dismiss as pittance anyway – could have major impact on the economy eventually.

Bearing in mind that Anwar’s administration has pumped in a few hundred millions of ringgit to the B40, this can only mean that part of this money is already floating in the market side-by-side the inflow of foreign investments that Anwar and his team are able to attract in just nine months of his administration.

It may take time but eventually this would benefit the local businesses. For this reason, the Sultan of Johor’s advice should be heeded with all quarters working hand-in-hand to rebuild the country’s economy. – Sept 3, 2023

Main pic credit: MySumber

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