Apart from worrying about the effects of cuts in subsidies, the lower-income group and even the middle-class are feeling the effects of a sharp rise in fruit and vegetable prices, especially over the last quarter.
While Najib waxes eloquent about the New Economic Model, low-income Malaysians are struggling to balance their budgets. Fruit and vegetables that used to cost RM60 a few months ago now cost around RM90. If you paid RM25 for a basket of vegetables a few months ago, you probably would have to fork out around RM45 now.
Of course, Cabinet Ministers won’t feel the pinch from higher food prices and cuts in subsidies. But ordinary workers will, as their wages struggle to keep pace with the rising cost of living. (As an aside, we desperately need a move towards organic agriculture to make us more self-sufficient in healthy pesticide-free natural food.)
Here’s something I wrote for IPS:
The government’s proposal to remove and rationalise subsidies on essential goods and services continues to provoke a storm of criticism from ordinary Malaysians.