Making the rakyat pay

The recent price hikes are just the beginning. Tolls, public transport fares, Quit Rent, sewerage and cooking gas too will go up soon enough.

Selena Tay, FMT

No leader of a nation will trouble its citizens unless he himself is in trouble. And this seems to be the case with Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak for right now he is having trouble in servicing the nation’s national debt.

The solution however is very simple. He just needs to trouble the citizens by obtaining funds from them to service the debt and that is what he is doing now via subsidy cuts.

After the petrol hike in early September, we had subsidy cuts for sugar and then the hike in assessment for KL and Ipoh followed by the hike in power tariff which will begin in three weeks time. One after another it is just bad news for the low-wage earner at year-end.

According to the former PAS Kuala Selangor MP Dzulkefly Ahmad, the low-wage earner not only has to bear the burden of these hikes but also the ‘knock-on chain effect’ from these price increases.

“All these hikes will cause the price of groceries and services to go up, not to mention the fact that factories will also be increasing the prices of their products.

“The low-wage earners suffer the most because they will not be getting big pay hikes to commensurate with the increase in the cost of living unlike those in the executive level,” remarked the current PAS Research Director.

This will simply mean that the low income group will need to tighten up their belt more which will in turn adversely affect their standard of living.

“The inflation rate for the poor and the low-income group will be much higher than 4% which may cause them to default in their monthly loan repayments. As of now the statistics concerning the Non-Performing Loans (NPL) has been purposely kept a secret by Bank Negara.

“Will there be more bankrupt cases then?” questioned Dzulkefly, adding that the prime minister is highly irresponsible in squeezing money out of the citizens via the GST (Goods & Services Tax) which burdens the poor more than the rich.

Najib is certainly a cruel leader for reducing the subsidies and then implementing the GST. It is certainly a double-blow for the poor citizens and low-income folks.

And these price hikes which are coming fast and furious is just the beginning. Tolls, public transport fares, Quit Rent, sewerage and cooking gas too will go up soon enough.