How can M’sians afford essentials when local white rice price is raised so soon after diesel free float?

THE announcement by Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Seri Mohammad Sabu on the proposal to raise the ceiling price of local white rice before October has sparked concerns and anxieties.

This move – coupled with the expected chain reactionary surge in goods prices following the diesel price float – will undoubtedly exacerbate the burden on the people’s livelihoods.

Since taking federal office, the Pakatan Harapan (PH)-led Malaysia Madani government has been relentlessly targeting the common citizens for financial resources.

New taxes like the low-value goods tax (LVGT) and increased sales and service tax (SST) along with the withdrawal of subsidies for poultry and diesel have been introduced. These policies – combined with the impending rise in rice prices – raise questions about how ordinary citizens will cope.

Rather than raise the ceiling price, the government should focus on policies that promote farming to ease the burden on farmers and control essential agricultural product prices.

The government implemented these policies without considering their impact on the cost of living is concerning. The surge in diesel prices coupled with the depreciating Malaysian ringgit and expanding import costs will further burden the people.

Instead of alleviating financial pressures through fiscal policies, the Madani government’s policies have worsened the cost of living. Failure in fulfilling its promises to lower prices and abolish fees is alarming.

Despite announcing a significant increase in civil servant remuneration, the government has not clarified the funding source.

The government lacks a comprehensive and sustainable economic policy with the only visible injection of funds stemming from the third account of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), ie the Akaun Fleksibel.

Without new injections of funds to stimulate the economy, contributors are staring at insufficient savings upon retirement. It is disappointing that the government relies on the hard-earned money of EPF contributors as its convenient revenue source.

Therefore, MCA Youth urges the Madani government to devise and implement practical economic revitalisation plans instead of burdening the people further. – June 11, 2024


Saw Yee Fung is the MCA National Youth secretary-general.

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

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