IT has already been nine months since the Pakatan Harapan took over power but unfortunately the high cost of living issue continues to haunt the people.
Prior to the 14th general election, the goods and services tax was solely blamed for causing the prices of goods to skyrocket and promises were made that with its abolition, prices would come down but nothing materialised.
On the contrary, the situation has become worse. People continue to lament that they find it difficult to make ends meet.
Councils after councils are being set up to look into the high cost of living, the latest being the new Economic Action Council (EAC), but we doubt that even this council will be able to tackle the issue.
We are sure that the government knows the fact that by increasing wages, cost of living concerns can be mitigated but at the same time we risk losing our export competitiveness.
The government knows that by strengthening the value of our ringgit, imported inflation can be checked as we depend a lot on food imports but at the same time risk losing revenue.
The government knows that we are actually trapped in a situation but the least we expect is for the government to be honest and come clean on the issue.
Many, if not already strapped financially, are getting into it gradually. No financial management education can help when there is already not enough in the pocket.
To better understand ground reality, all we need to do is visit the CTOS, CCRIS and Insolvency Department’s database and the actual picture will appear with greater clarity.
The prime minister previously said that raising wages was not a good idea as the cost of goods will rise in tandem but don’t we already have the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act to check this?
To help tackle cost of living issue, what the country desperately needs is a robust policy framework capable of increasing the disposable income of people in the B40 and M40 category, while those in the B40 category are further supported with social security initiatives.
The rich can be taxed more but please stop telling us that the country is debt laden.
We have not seen much output from the Pakatan Harapan government to date but will continue to keep our fingers crossed.
Darshan Singh Dhillon
Malaysia Consumers Movement (MCM)