GEORGE TOWN: Gerakan today urged all elected representatives in the country to take a pay cut and sacrifice their allowances, ahead of price hikes for basic necessities due to the removal of government subsidies.
Its vice-president Datuk Baljit Singh said if there ever was a time for all Malaysian members of parliament and state assemblymen/assemblywomen, irrespective of political affiliation to be in solidarity with the people, now was the time to do so.
He said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, his cabinet ministers, deputy ministers, MPs and state assemblymen/assemblywomen must step up their game and give back to the people.
He added that even chairmen of government-linked companies and other political office-holders should also not be spared.
“It is not right for the rakyat to suffer alone, while elected representatives continue enjoying perks like full salaries, hefty allowances and generous overseas travel budgets at this time.
“These so-called leaders need to put their money where their mouths are and the only way is to lead by example.
“All the money saved from salaries and allowances must be channelled back to the people, before it is too late and we are plagued with social ills and further hardship,” he said today.
Baljit said the issue here was certainly not about coming up with more supposed caring schemes in the form of handouts for certain segments of society.
He said the true worth and character of a nation were best reflected in times of crisis.
“Since we are all together in this, let us show our care for one another in these trying times,” he added.
The government has decided to remove subsidies for bottled cooking oil from July 1 while maintaining the subsidy for the 1kg polybags, which was implemented in 2007.
The subsidised 1kg cooking oil is priced at RM2.50 per pack, compared to its market price of RM9 and is meant to benefit Keluarga Malaysia’s B40 group.
Starting July 1 too, the government will no longer provide subsidy to chicken breeders.
The money instead would be used to help the needy especially those in the B40 income bracket in the form of financial assistance that would be channelled to them directly.
At present, the government provided subsidies to chicken breeders to ensure the poultry price remains at RM8.90 (per kilogramme).
Following the announcements, Malaysians have taken to social media to express their concerns over the impending increase in prices of basic necessities due to the removal of government subsidies.