PH leaders: Address the cost of living within 24 hours or resign

by FAYYADH JAAFAR / pic by BLOOMBERG

THE Pakatan Harapan (PH) Presidential Council is calling for an immediate response from the federal government to address, within 24 hours, the cost of living in Malaysia.

Or else, they would call for the resignation of the ministers responsible.

In a joint statement today, PH leaders said the sudden announcement of the abolishment of subsidies for cooking oil and ceiling prices for chicken eggs and poultry by Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi on July 1, without any concrete plans to compensate for the rising cost of living, was irresponsible and unacceptable.

“In the current economic situation, people have been heavily affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The lives of people will get worse when the prices of goods increase.

“At this point, the government has not announced any mechanism, funds, or timeline for the implementation of targeted subsidies, although it is only about a week until the subsidy and ceiling prices are abolished,” they said in the statement, which was signed by PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Amanah president Mohamad Sabu, DAP secretary general Anthony Loke, and Upko president Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau.

They added that the announcement did not give the people enough time to prepare for the rising cost of living, which is likely to increase multiple-folds.

The council said it had told the Parliament, on more than one occasion, that it was wrong that the National Cost of Living Action Council did not meet and take action quickly last year.

“Unfortunately, the people continue to witness how slow the actions of the ministers are in addressing the cost of living,” the coalition leaders said.

They also warned that if the government fails to take full responsibility for the issue of the rising cost of living within 24 hours, they will mobilise the civil society and other political parties to join them to voice their anger.

Meanwhile, in a press conference today, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that there will be Additional Malaysian Family Assistance after the prices of chicken, eggs and other items may be increased due to the lack of subsidies starting July 1, and that the government still maintains subsidies for cooking oil.