Hamzah urges PM to visit wet markets amid rising prices

KUALA LUMPUR: Opposition leader Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin has suggested that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim visit the wet markets around the capital to survey the increase in prices of goods that are affecting the public.

In a statement on Saturday (May 25), Hamzah said it was necessary for Anwar to see for himself the rise in the price of goods and how it will continue to increase with the rationalisation of diesel subsidies.

"The main issue that concerns the people is that the rationalisation of subsidies will affect the entire economic chain, which will certainly increase the cost of living.

"Prices of goods have already skyrocketed. I suggest the Prime Minister visit the Raja Bot Market in Chow Kit.

"See for yourself the increase in prices of goods as reported recently. The price of chilli padi has risen to RM28 per kilogramme (kg) compared to RM18 before.

"The price of sawi is now RM11 per kg compared to RM7, and the price of kangkung is RM10 per kg compared to RM8," he said.

Hamzah noted that the increase in prices was not limited to vegetables, as other items have also gone up in price.

"The rationalisation of diesel subsidies does not take into account the core issues troubling the people. Cutting these subsidies will have an overall effect on the economic chain," he said.

Additionally, Hamzah said while it is true that the diesel subsidy cut involves a particular group and is expected to save RM4bil a year, this means a large group of people will have to bear the RM4bil cost increase.

"The M40 and B40 groups will feel the impact the most," he said.

Last week, Anwar announced that the Cabinet had agreed to implement a targeted diesel subsidy involving consumers in Peninsular Malaysia.

It would involve 10 types of public transport vehicles and 23 types of goods transportation vehicles under the diesel subsidy control system.

He added that the targeted subsidy would not involve consumers in Sabah and Sarawak, as diesel is used in nearly every family’s vehicle in both states.

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