MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Thursday, June 23, 2022

Lim: PM's 'band aid' announcement unable to help poor families

Putrajaya's move to allocate RM630 million additional Bantuan Keluarga Malaysia (BKM) cash assistance to help low-income families burdened by rising living costs is far from sufficient, said DAP chairperson Lim Guan Eng.

In a statement, he described the allocation as a paltry 'band-aid' which is unable to relieve the burden of the bottom 40 percent (B40) and middle 40 percent (M40) of income earners.

"How does Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob's paltry RM630 million 'band aid' package help Malaysians cope with soaring prices and removal of chicken, eggs, and bottled cooking oil subsidies?"

"As a comparison, Singapore with a gross domestic product (GDP) per capita almost five times more than Malaysia had announced a S$1.5 billion (RM4.7 billion) aid package that is more than seven times larger than Malaysia’s RM630 million aid package," he said.

"This financial aid is disappointing not only in its small amount but also not comprehensive to help Malaysians in the M40 as well as small and medium scale enterprises," he said.

As a start, Lim said the prime minister should have announced that electric utility company Tenaga Nasional Bhd should not be permitted to increase electricity tariffs from next month onwards.

"TNB's net profit rose to RM3.66 billion for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2021 from RM3.59 billion in the previous year on the back of a 2021 higher operating profit increasing by RM742 million to RM8.08 billion compared with RM7.36 billion in 2020.

"Clearly TNB is in a position to absorb rising gas and coal prices," he said.

DAP chairperson Lim Guan Eng

Lim, who is a former finance minister, also pointed out that the government failed to rein in rising commodity prices.

"There is no mention of a Price Stabilisation Fund or buffer stockpile of essential commodities to cope with prices that are expected to escalate even higher at the end of the year.

"The lack of a well-thought-out plan does not bode well for investor confidence already battered by the 2022 International Institute for Management Development (IMD) World Competitiveness Ranking (WCR), down by seven positions from 25th in 2021.

Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob during the live announcement yesterday.

"This is reflected in the downward spiralling of share prices and decline in the value of the ringgit against our major trading partners, United States and Singapore, to near historic levels, putting further pressure on imported inflation," he said.

Yesterday, Ismail Sabri announced an additional RM100 for families and RM50 for single individuals under the BKM programme in light of the rising cost of living.

He also reiterated that palm oil in 1kg polybags is still subsidised and priced at RM2.50 per pack while the subsidy for bottled palm oil which was introduced as a temporary measure in 2020 to help the public during the Covid-19 pandemic, will be removed next month.- Mkini

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