Rising cost of living must be addressed

Recently, the issue of the increase in the cost of living has become a hot topic once again.

The public is saddled with growing concerns over the shortage of chicken supply, food security, coupled with the rising prices of essential goods whilst e-hailing companies up their fares.

The flow-down effects arising from the rising prices of goods and services will result in similar price hikes of non-controlled goods and services, such as, milk and disposable diapers, children's pocket money, school bus fares, meals, vehicle fuel expenses and others.

In fact, the issue of the rising cost of living is a global issue faced around the world including developed countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, Korea and Japan. Malaysia is no exception in experiencing a jump in daily living costs.

Wanita MCA takes this issue seriously, more so, for people residing in urban areas.

This is because rising living costs will cause psychological stress in the household, which can lead to other issues such as irritability, emotional instability, and so on. Children in the household will later feel the effects, which may lead to other social problems such as fights, abuse, and other social symptoms.

In terms of cash assistance, the Malaysian government has already implemented the Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat, with an RM6.5bil allocation benefiting 8.1 million people. Aside from BPR, a 'one-time' targeted assistance, known as Bantuan Keluarga Malaysia, was also distributed, in addition to the Bantuan Prihatin Nasional, which was distributed in three phases. A total of RM11.5bil was allocated, with 10.77 million BPN recipients benefiting.

Meanwhile, Wanita MCA would like to remind the public that lifestyle and spending habits are important factors which influence the rising cost of living.

In addition to government cash assistance and price control, society plays an important role in controlling the rising cost of living.

Consumers must shop wisely. Some consumers have a tendency to spend in accordance with current trends, as if the cost of living isn't a major concern. However, this has negative consequences.

The issue of rising living costs can actually be mitigated if consumers control their spending habits from increasing sharply in line with current trends.

Wanita MCA also hopes the government will soon implement price control mechanisms such as introducing price ceilings for the welfare of consumers.

Subsidy policies can also be studied in greater depth in order to create a more equitable and targeted distribution of subsidies.

Wanita MCA Secretary General

Saw Ooi Leng

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