We (Malaysians) are much better off than others


MY SON just returned after a working trip to a neighbouring country.

We thank God for his safe return as while he was there, he met with a minor accident while travelling by taxi and was in hospital for two days.

Luckily, his colleagues kept us frequently updated and we were also able to communicate with him throughout his 48 hours in hospital.

Prior to hearing his experience, I admit I was among others who frequently complained about practically everything under the sun in our country.

However, after hearing the “hell” my son endured following his mishap in the neighbouring country, I must say we are so grateful and thankful for what we have here in Malaysia.

According to my son, our public hospitals and healthcare are like five-star hotels compared to those in many other countries. 

Also, we are blessed to be able to enjoy free healthcare in Malaysia as many of us do not have the money nor the insurance coverage required for private healthcare.

However, this is not the scenario in most other Asian countries. Healthcare is incredibly expensive and hospitals do not treat you unless you have the money or healthcare insurance.

This was what happened to my son. Apparently, when he was rushed to hospital by his colleagues, the first thing they asked was how he was going to pay the bill.

Only after they convinced the hospital that they were able to handle the bill did a doctor attend to my son. This is not the situation here in our public hospitals.

Also, if we are complaining about the inflation here, it is certainly a far cry from what other nations are experiencing.

Recent reports said the government here was absorbing RM77.3 billion in subsidies, which comparatively is really huge, especially at a time like this.

Global Phenomena 

What is happening here in Malaysia is a global phenomenon and it is not fair for us to point fingers at anyone.

From the time the Covid-19 pandemic struck, many of us made it through thanks to the handouts and aid from the government, not to mention the free healthcare and vaccines.

It is unfortunate that at a time when we are picking up the pieces, the whole world is simultaneously going through a bad period, made worse by the Russia-Ukraine war.

Our inflation rate as of May 2022 was 2.8%, while in Brunei it was 3.2%, Indonesia at 3.56%, Philippines at 5.4% and Singapore at 5.6%. Thailand’s inflation was at 7.1%, while Cambodia was 7.2%.

If not for the government subsidies, Malaysia’s inflation rate could have been 11.4%, placing us at almost the bottom of the inflation rate chart worldwide.

We cannot be critical about everything, but have to be practical and also grateful for what we have.

Subsidies play a big part in our economy and if not for this move from the government, our nation could have been thrown into chaos.

Apart from the subsidies, the government recently also increased our Bantuan Keluarga Malaysia (BKM) cash handout for the B40 (bottom 40%) group.

Households under the category will be given an additional RM100, while unmarried youth stand to pocket an extra RM50. This brings the total BKM payout that households can get this year to as high as RM2,500.

We have to look beyond the negativity and get a clearer picture, which will actually open our eyes to the reality of things.

We cannot let ourselves be clouded by what others say and must learn to appreciate what we have, which is surely better off than others.

After listening to my son’s experience, I must say I am truly grateful to be here in Malaysia and for all the government under Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob is doing for us.

Norhayati Sharuddin