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LIKE oil and water, politics and religion, too, can never blend. But this has been made possible via the alchemy of greed by our politicians. Instead of joining hands to draw up policies that benefit the people and alleviate their plight, politicians have reduced themselves to squabbles over ministerial quotas and such.
The Bantuan Keluarga Malaysia is merely a “band aid”; it is not a sustainable solution following the removal of subsidies. And what about those who do not fall under the B40 category who are equally distraught?
Government cash handouts and subsidy rationalisation must be balanced to ensure the poor are able to cope with the rise in the inflation rate.
Inflation is an increase in the level of prices of goods and services that households buy measured by the consumer price index, which is the measure of how expensive goods are getting.
What has Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz – with his knowledge in fiscal policy – done to address the economic issues faced by the people?
He recently said Budget 2023 will continue to support economic growth and focus on reforms to improve the people’s well-being, income and social protection, as well as the competitiveness of local businesses – but these fancy words and measures do not seem to be trickling down.
They should strengthen the fiscal position of the government but what about the ballooning debt of the government?
Why is he ignoring the weakest link e.g. struggling taxpayers who are unable to afford basic sustenance? If he had put in more effort on his official task instead of pursuing his personal political ambition by “adopting” Kuala Selangor, we may see the light at the end of this pandemic.
The next general election is approaching, and the dearth of political leaders in offering a pragmatic vision is frightening.
How do we identify ourselves as a nation? Must we surrender our ideals and values in the hands of dubious elected representatives? Why are they not campaigning for real reforms – against corruption, eradicate poverty and injustice, and provide quality education?
The people must demand the answers to these pertinent questions from political leaders before casting their ballots.
It is our democratic right to elect and it is the duty of the elected representative to perform. Never forget your value to determine the fate of this country. – June 24, 2022.
* Ismail Hasnan reads The Malaysian Insight.
* This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight. Article may be edited for brevity and clarity.