KUALA LUMPUR: Vegetables top the list of price increase with an average hike of 18%.
Chillies ranked the highest with a rise of between 46% and 88%, according to the Statistics Department of Malaysia which tracked the prices of 100 items in the category of food and essentials for households between June 2018 and July 2019.
Commenting on the price increase, Dr Wong Kok Fye, MCA's Government Monitoring Committee (GMC) master coordinator, said the low income group (with a household monthly income of RM3,000 and below) were the hardest hit.
"Even the middle income group are finding it increasingly hard to make ends meet," he told a press conference in Wisma MCA here on Saturday morning (Oct 5).
Among the 100 items, 67 saw a price increase of between 1% and 88%, four with no increase, while 29 recorded a price drop of between 1% and 7%.
Among the 16 types of vegetables tracked by the department which recorded a substantial rise were cucumbers (25%), tomatoes (24%) and round cabbage (11%).
Essential items that recorded a price increase included toothbrush (16%), soap (14%) and toilet paper (10%).
"Having a headache over making ends meet will add more cost, with the price of paracetamol up by 6%," Dr Wong said.
A strip with 10 paracetamol which used to cost RM3.54 in June last year had gone up to RM3.76 this July.
With increase in prices in most of the essential items, Dr Wong urged the government to identify the factors involved and take steps to ease the people's burden.
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