Norizan Nasiman said the majority of Johoreans had high hopes of a better economy leading to better lives when they voted for Pakatan Harapan in GE14.
“After almost two years in power, we are not seeing our expectations being met and are unhappy,” he said.
The 38-year-old father of two lamented that prices of essential items had gone up, with no measures taken by the authorities to resolve the problem that affected the livelihood of wage earners.
Food stall owner Rozita Ramli, 58, said that with prices of essential goods increasing, she had no choice but to pass on the cost to consumers.
“Food traders like me are badly affected and forced to increase our prices to make up for the higher prices of raw ingredients,” she said, adding that some measures must be put in place to control the escalating prices of daily necessities.Rozita said her other option was to reduce the portions of food she sold, to continue doing business and maintain the reasonable prices she charged customers.
Pharmacist Tay Hui Zhong, 34, hopes the government will take bold measures to strengthen and stabilise the country’s economy as the year 2020 dawns.
“Our ringgit is weakening and it is not good for many businesses as consumers are more careful with their spending,” she said.
Electrical shop assistant Jamie Chin, 35, said business was slow due to the economic situation.She said most businesses in Johor Baru were able to carry on despite the unfavourable situation thanks to the high purchasing power of locals working in Singapore and earning in that foreign currency.
“We hope Johor government, with assistance from the Federal Government, will help businesses cope with this situation and instil economic confidence in the people,” said Chin.
Meanwhile, writer S. Anand Kumar, 36, urged the state government to build more affordable houses under the Johor Affordable Housing Scheme for first-time house buyers.
“It is impossible for average wage earners to own houses, especially in Iskandar Malaysia, as the prices are beyond us,” he said.Anand said there should be more tax exemptions for the lower income group or B40 and the middle-income bracket as the high cost of living has affected them.
Orang Seletar fisherman Komeng Ohkimheng, 50, said life was hard for him.
He said coastal fishermen like him had been earning well but then their income started dwindling when the coastal areas were reclaimed beginning 2010.Komeng said the mangrove swamps were natural breeding grounds for mud crabs and edible snails, but the mangrove areas were cleared to make way for the land reclamation activities.
“The most we can get is about RM200 a day when out fishing now, compared with RM600 before.
“There is also not much help for us from the government,” he added.
Did you find this article insightful?