They hope a new economic policy that will be rolled out – the Shared Prosperity Vision (SPV) 2030 – will contain the right action plan to address their concerns.
Stabilising prices of necessities through the breaking of monopolies and profiteering, as well as having more training opportunities to upskill themselves are among the aspirations of the public.
Rozita Radzali, 33, who sells curry puffs and drinks with her husband in Kuantan, said they aspire to be successful business owners and hope that trainings in financial and business management can be provided under SPV 2030.
The new policy is something she looks forward to, which she hopes will uplift her family of nine out of the B40 group.
Their daily net profit is about RM100 and this worsens when it rains.
Her family is also facing adversity as their 19-month-old sixth child Maya Alisha is suffering from hole-in-the-heart defect.
Harvinder Singh Dhanjit Singh from Seremban is urging the government to look into helping retrenched workers rather than just focusing on rising unemployment among fresh graduates.
The 53-year-old lost his job as a senior adviser at a Cyberjaya-based IT company in February and has not been able to secure a similar position elsewhere due to his age.
This is despite him willing to take a big pay cut and to take on other jobs.
“The government can always provide some kind of incentive to employers who hire retrenched workers, especially those who are in their 50s as they are often left in the lurch over the lack of job opportunities,” said Harvinder, who is now working part-time as an e-hailing driver to make ends meet.
In Penang, car workshop owner Chan Kok Hoe, 42, said it was wrong to assume those that stayed in urban areas are “okay in life”.
“For example, in Penang, some people think islanders are richer and mainlanders are poorer.
“But from what I can see, mainlanders are generally cash rich while many islanders may seem well-to-do but actually have a lot of debts,” said Chan, who lives in Juru on the mainland and runs his workshop on the island.
He said rural tourism would be a great way for kampungs to benefit from the Cuti-Cuti Malaysia crowd, but they need to be trained about tourism development and retailing strategies.
Koay Chia Chia, 24, who is a Peranakan Nyonya, felt public education needed to be spruced up to even out the spread of opportunities.
“The government should improve on the infrastructure and information archives in universities.
“I hope the government will also provide proper professional job training for young graduates to help them prepare for their first jobs,” said Koay, who recently earned her Masters in Economic Management from Universiti Sains Malaysia.
In Kuching, assistant store manager Andy John, 28, is hoping the government will provide opportunities for Malaysians to sharpen their skills and fulfil their potential.
“I will like to have training on how to manage a business as management is what I’m trying to do now.
“If I have the chance one day to open my own business, why not,” said Andy, who hails from a mixed Iban-Bidayuh family.
In Petaling Jaya, 37-year-old satay hawker Irawan Edy Saman is hoping the government will reduce the number of foreign workers into the country to ensure more jobs are available for Malaysians and reduce the outflow money to other countries.
“At the same time, we should encourage the young ones, especially the graduates, not to be picky when it comes to jobs,” he said.
Sundry shop operator S. Savathri, 45, is hoping prices of goods can be controlled so that middlemen do not abuse the system for profit.
The price of onions, she said, was about RM3 to RM4 per kg back then, but has almost doubled.
Albianie Tracy, who is a native Dusun from Ranau, Sabah, said the most important aspect is to first bridge the economic gap between rural and urban folk in Sabah, and between Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia.
“Even if the government keeps saying it cannot give Sabah back the 20% oil royalty and 40% revenue owed, at least give us more allocations for development and other uses,” said the 34-year-old mother of two, who works as a vehicle dealer.
To improve the livelihood of the people, she said practical training or courses such as agricultural technology that can help people and relevant to the needs in Sabah, should be conducted more.
Rozita Ginsui, 35, a native Dusun from Kota Belud, said there should be more self-development and courses that teach all sorts of skills including business, online marketing, agriculture and entrepreneurship among others.
“Please make sure all good intentions become successful actions,” she said.