MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Wednesday, June 29, 2022

RM10 for mix rice - varsity students hit by price hikes


The country’s rising inflation is hurting students as cafeterias and cooperative shops in universities raise prices and sell goods above the current market prices, said a coalition of student groups.

The groups said a plate of mixed rice with vegetables and chicken could cost up to RM10, while a bar of soap in a cooperative store was priced at RM6, although it cost only half of that off-campus.

At a press conference today, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) student union president Aliff Naif Mohd Fizam said a survey conducted among students in Klang Valley universities showed rising prices and increasing concern about the cost of living.

“While we are not seeing an exponential increase in prices, the students are burdened by the price hike. According to tweets collected by us, price hikes are causing stress to students from various universities.

“We can’t rule out that students could go hungry due to price hikes,” he said.

The groups found that in Universiti Malaya (UM), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Universiti Putra Malaysia, plain white rice with just a single vegetable dish is sold at RM6, and adding a piece of chicken will cost RM3.50-RM4.50.

UM Students’ Union president Ooi Guo Shen pointed out that when students first returned to campus in May following the resumption of physical classes, a meal consisting of rice, a vegetable dish and a piece of chicken was priced at RM6. Students are now forking out between RM9 and RM10 for the same meal.

More expensive on campus

Meanwhile, Demokrat UM representative Sharifah I’Nur Habib Idris said several cooperative shops on campus closed down after the students complained about buying expensive goods.

She, however, is uncertain where the closure order originated.

Sharifah also complained about goods sold are more expensive on campus.

“Take the bar of soap as an example. It is sold for up to RM6 (at the university cooperative shop) while you can get it at RM3 outside,” she said.

Sharifah said another example was instant noodles, where Maggi noodles were sold at RM2.50 per pack while a pack of ramen from a Korean brand was RM6.50.

“These shops should bring us convenience, but it is sucking our blood at the end,” she lamented.

(Front row left to right) Demokrat UM representative Sharifah I’Nur Habib Idris, International Islamic University Malaysia student union president Aliff Naif Mohd Fizam, Universiti Malaya Students’ Union president Ooi Guo Shen

Students threaten to protest

During the press conference, Aliff and representatives from some 20 student groups, have urged the government to immediately address the rising cost of goods, failing which they would take to the streets to protest.

They also urged the Higher Education Ministry and Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry to implement price controls for varsity cafeterias and vendors.

Student bodies that co-signed the statement include Demokrat UM, Kesatuan Pelajar Universiti Islam Antarabangsa, Kelab Sosialist Universiti Malaya, Suara Mahasiswa UMS, among others.

On June 25, student unions from IIUM and UM first issued a statement urging the government to address the spiralling cost of living, threatening a protest unless the government takes immediate action.

Other student groups have since joined the effort to pressure the government on food security issues.

The groups also called on all component parties of BN, Pakatan Harapan, Perikatan Nasional, Gabungan Rakyat Sabah, and other parties such as Muda, Parti Sosialis Malaysia, and civil societies to join them in the movement. - Mkini

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