Despite the rakyat voicing out their frustration over the rising cost of living, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob says the inflation rate in the country is relatively low when compared to other countries.
Speaking at the opening of the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC)’s 42nd triennial delegates’ conference on Saturday (2 July), Ismail said that the government is implementing all short-term, medium-term and long-term measures to combat the issue of rising living costs.
He said the measures include providing RM70 billion in subsidies this year to ensure that the people are not burdened by the situation, as reported by Bernama.
“I would like to explain that the rising cost of living is not only happening in Malaysia but all over the world. Malaysia is not on a different planet. We are connected to what is happening in other countries,” he said.
“For example, chicken is the most sensitive issue. We had to import chicken feed supplies because we are not producers of corn and soy. This has resulted in the increase in the prices of goods.”
Meanwhile, Ismail said Malaysia’s inflation rate currently stood at 2% and is still considered as low compared with other countries such as the United States (9%), European countries (between 8% and 10%) and the United Kingdom (12%).
“Our inflation rate is low because we (the government) are giving out subsidies. Without subsidies, our inflation rate may go up to 8% to 11%.”
“Hence, to ensure that the people are not burdened, the government continues providing subsidies even though there are some products that do not need subsidies,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ismail also proposed to MTUC to set up a team of volunteers to monitor and report any issue related to the prices of goods to the government.
He said such an effort would assist the government in collecting input from the public, in addition to reducing the misappropriation of subsidised goods.
“The government is ready to listen to constructive suggestions from all quarters because we don’t know everything and we need feedback from the people,” he said.