KUALA LUMPUR, July 1 — DAP national chairman Lim Guan Eng today expressed his concerns over the lack of financial aid for the M40 group, saying they are often abandoned by the government.
“B40 households earning up to RM4,850 a month get a small financial help from the government to cope with the removal of these subsidies of RM100 per household and RM50 for singles. For M40, they get nothing.
“The government should provide some assistance bearing in mind that like those in B40, many in the M40 spend more than 25 per cent of their disposable income on food,” Lim said in a statement today.
The Bagan MP said that following the removal of subsidies for chicken, eggs, and oil (except for 1kg packs), a 5kg Vesawit cooking oil that previously cost RM28 now costs RM41.
He said that the 43 per cent price hike does not reflect the inflation rate of 2.8 per cent in May 2022 as measured in the consumer price index.
“The increase in the Producer Price Index (PPI) local production, which measures the costs of goods at the factory gate, of 11.2 per cent in May 2022 compared with 11 per cent in April 2022, is probably more accurate.
“Lest we forget the incomes of Malaysians are also eroded by the steep decline in the value of the ringgit that depreciated to historic lows against the Singapore and US dollar, two of our three biggest trading partners.
“Equally dire is the economic recession and Covid-19 pandemic since 2020 has unfortunately caused more than 580,000 M40 households to slip back into the B40 category,” the former finance minister said.
In his statement, he added that small-to-medium enterprises are facing the same predicament of not receiving sufficient financial assistance and having their costs compounded by labour shortages.
It was previously announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob that the B40 income group will receive cash assistance in four stages under the Bantuan Keluarga Malaysia (BKM) aid to help alleviate their financial burden.