Global inflation: Don’t blame the government for something beyond its control

NST LETTERS: I come from a technical background and travel regularly to neighbouring countries for routine maintenance, which my company is engaged in.

When I am not travelling, I spend most of my time in my office in front of a computer. With a non-working wife and three children to support, what I earn just about cuts it with a little left for savings.

My family and I have taken all measures possible to reduce our expenses, including taking home-cooked food to the office and school.

I am a coffee lover and easily drink up to four cups a day. This, I would say, is an expensive habit, not as costly as cigarettes, but something which could even go up to RM50 a day — depending on the coffee a person drinks.

Many of my colleagues are constantly complaining that they are broke by mid-month. Why won’t they be if they keep buying coffee twice a day along with snacks from coffeehouses, brought to them by delivery firms?

For me, it’s simple — home-cooked food and coffee bags. The latter could last me for days and are about the same price as a single cup of coffee from a well-known outlet.

It is clear that what Malaysia is experiencing now is a global phenomenon that is beyond the control of any government.

The prices of essentials are shooting up in every corner of the world. However, the one thing Malaysians do not realise or simply don’t want to acknowledge is that our prices are lower than in neighbouring countries.

For example, Indonesia is the number one producer of palm oil, but why is cooking oil more expensive there than here?

Let’s not even go into the price of chicken. For most families in neighbouring nations, save Singapore and Brunei, enjoying a chicken meal with the family is a luxury — something like going to a fast-food restaurant here about 45 years ago when I was a kid.

This is the reality that many of us simply refuse to accept. We do not look at the glass as half full, but always half empty. If not for subsidies, inflation in the country would have gone through the roof and there would probably be chaos.

From what I read, the government is spending close to RM80 billion on subsidies, which is an alarming figure at a time like this.

It is not only about how much one earns, but also how one lives his life. What is wrong with drinking coffee which can be easily made using coffee bags and milk? Of course, if you order coffee online twice or thrice a day, it is going to cost you a fortune.

Despite the global economic crisis, the Russia-Ukraine war and uncertain weather, our prime minister is keeping his cool and running his administration well. He remains focused even in the face of criticism and rude statements.

We cannot keep on blaming everyone else for every shortcoming we face in life. From my personal experience, we are in a much better situation in terms of access to food, healthcare, education and even transport compared with many, many others.

The prime minister is doing his best and we should also play our part so we can make it through these hard times together.


Batu Gajah, Perak