Wednesday 8 June 2011

Price hikes: Long faces and empty pockets

The reduction in subsidy for sugar and the hike in prices of RON97 petrol, liquified petroleum gas and electricity has resulted consumers feeling the pinch, with many of them voicing their displeasure.

Malaysiakini randomly interviewed a number of people at various spots in the federal capital and most of them had little good to say about the price hikes. Indeed, some are on the look for part-time work to make ends meet.

NONE"The price of food has risen, and we have to reduce other expenses as well," said Technological and Advance Development Centre student N Mahesh Nanthakumar (right).

Mahesh, 21, when met at KL Sentral, said she was willing to participate in demonstrations against the price hikes, for his unhappiness with the situation was very great.

Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) student Syazana Shah Lan, 21, said she now thinks twice when buying food.

"I stay in the dormitory but on my limited budget, I can only eat twice a day now," she said.

Working part-time

Another student, who only wanted to identify himself only as Alvin, said his family was feeling the strain financially.

"During my holidays, I work part-time to help my father to meet the family expenses," he said, adding that he hoped the government would encourage more foreign investment to stabilise prices.

Recently, the government raised the price of RON 97 petrol to RM2.90 while the electricity tariff rose by 7.12 percent from June 1.

NONEThe price of sugar has also increased, by 20sen a kilo to RM2.30.

For Harzuki Ismail (right), a technical officer with a major oil company, the price of petrol should not have risen because Malaysia is an oil producer.

Harzuki, 53, said the present situation was worrying as prices are going up while inflation was shrinking the disposable income.

He called for a change in government.

"There is no need to have demonstrations, but maybe a change in the leadership of the country. There is no need for bloodshed, but it's more important to have a change in the mindset," Harzuki said.
NONETrader Norjamilah Mohd Halim said the impact of the price increases of essential times was heavy on her because her income was nothing to shout about.

"Even when we cut down on purchases, we still pay out a lot. 

"If possible, the government should make a serious effort to reduce prices," Norjamilah said, adding that the government itself should practise prudent spending.

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