KUALA LUMPUR, June 22 — The federal government must immediately detail its plans to address Malaysians’ cost of living crisis as it was withdrawing subsidies for chicken and cooking oil next month, said the Pakatan Harapan presidential council.
It expressed concern over the government’s withdrawal of the subsidies at a time Malaysians were facing sharp and accelerating increases in food prices.
Despite announcing the withdrawal, the council noted that the government has not said what mechanisms or funds would be introduced to offset the move, and has not given any indication when it would do so despite the urgency of the worsening crisis.
Instead of solutions, the council said Malaysians have only been made to witness the sluggishness of the ministers in tacking the issue.
“As such, the government must announce all its plans to address the issue of subsidies and rising costs within 24 hours.
“Should it fail, the ministers responsible for the cost of living issue must resign,” said the council comprising PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Amanah president Mohamad Sabu, DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke, and Upko president Datuk Seri Madius Tangau.
The council said PH would simultaneously start coordinating with the civil society groups to plan a protest if the matter is not resolved by the government.
Malaysia will discontinue ceiling price controls for chicken and chicken eggs from July 1, with Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi saying this was meant to stabilise market supply.
The maximum retail price of dressed chicken in Malaysia is currently RM8.90 per kg but the minister has said this was expected to rise above RM10.00 once the price controls were lifted.
The minister also simultaneously announced the end of the price ceiling for bottled cooking oil also from July 1, due to the abolition of the palm cooking oil subsidy that has reached RM20 million a month.