Committee Being Set Up To Study Cost Of Living
A high-level panel consists of several ministers will be set up to examine the rise in living costs in January.
Headed by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the panel will consider different views from various non-governmental organisations.
“God willing, I will chair it (the meeting) in early January. In the early stages, six ministers… will be involved in this committee,” he said in a report by The Star Online.
Some of the ministers involved are the Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin (Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism), Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed (International Trade and Industry), Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid (Education), Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh (Higher Education), Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah (Second Finance Minister) and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar.
Some of the factors blamed for the rising cost of living are the recently implemented Goods and Services Tax (GST), and the tumbling oil prices and Ringgit against US dollar. Other contributing factors brought up by Malaysians are the recent string of price hikes such as the hike in toll rates in the Klang Valley.
Due to all these reasons, many businesses are unable to absorb the higher cost of operation, and have no choice but to bring down the cost to the consumers.
The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) have expressed interest to be involved in the high-level discussion on the cost of living.
“People are complaining that whatever they earn is not enough as the prices of essential items have increased. We want the Government to give allocation to the people to grow more vegetables and their own produce to cut costs,” CAP president S.M. Mohamed Idris told The Star Online.
While Penang Hindu Association deputy president P. Murugiah suggested for the committee to conduct a survey to understand how the rising cost of living affect the rural and the urban poor.
“The last time such a survey was conducted was more than 10 years ago,” he said, adding that more children now have to leave school as their families are unable to cope with the cost of living.
“We have admitted 15 children into orphanages this year alone,” he said, adding that prices had gone up by between 100% and 200% in the past 10 years.