SHAH ALAM, 8 Jan: The severity of the increase in price of some essential goods have received objection from various quarters because it is clearly burdensome, especially to those earning a low income.
To make matters worse, the people continue to be oppressed when the central government announced other increases such as the electricity tariff, assessment tax and toll rates.
A survey by Selangor Kini around Shah Alam found that a majority of people met admitted that the sharp increase in prices has a big impact on their daily lives, especially when expenditure exceeds income.
Civil servant, Nur Shahaida Ahmad, 27, said that a good part of her income received every month is spent on buying necessary goods such as groceries and paying for house rent.
She added that although her household income, together with her husband, reaches RM4000 a month; however the high cost of living in urban areas does not guarantee that someone is able to live comfortably.
“The salary of a civil servant is meager, and the annual increase if not very high. Furthermore, we are living in an urban area. If someone earns a monthly salary of RM2000 a month, it would certainly not be enough.
“When prices go up, we have to reorganise our finances so that our monthly expenses do not exceed our income. Now, after the price of petrol went up, the cost of travel has also increased,” she said.
Abdullah Kamal Sudin, 55, who earns about RM1000 a month, also experiences the same problem almost every month in supporting his wife and three children, who are still in school.
The general worker said that in a month, he needs to distribute his income to pay electricity bills, groceries and school needs for his children.
“With such an income, it is certainly not sufficient to meet the needs of my family, and we are even more burdened when the government announced a range of increases this year.
“The government should control the price of goods, instead of arbitrarily increasing it because it only oppressed the low income earners like me,” he said.
Meanwhile, a vendor, Miskina Abdullah, 63, admitted that her daily income is dwindling since buyers are more cautious in buying goods.
She said that this happened when the government announced various increases in price last year.
“I admit that when the price of goods went up, business deteriorated because people no longer wanted to spend when buying goods. They are more cautious because they do not want to spend more.
“Previously, my daily income could reach up to RM700. Now, it has gone down to RM300 only. The difference is highly significant, but I still have to face it,” he said.
Since the increase in price for petrol and diesel, vehicle owners who only paid RM1.85 per liter for RON95 petrol and RM2.10 for RON97, now have to respectively pay RM1.90 and RM2.50, as of July last year.
At the same time, the price of vegetable, chicken, fish and almost all necessary goods have also increased, and now, the goods and services tax (GST) will be introduced by the government, with the initial rate of 6 percent, effective 1 April 2015.