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More Malaysians leaving as elite power grows, says DAP

 | November 18, 2017

Klang MP Charles Santiago says policies are increasingly geared towards benefitting country's elite while many on the ground struggle to put food on the table.

charles-santiago-rakyat-malaysian-1PETALING JAYA: An opposition MP says more Malaysians are leaving due to a sense of having lost their country to the “elites”, who control various aspects of life here.

charles-santiago-freedom-summit-1Speaking at the Malaysia Freedom Summit, Klang MP Charles Santiago pointed out that economic policies were increasingly geared towards benefitting the country’s elite.

According to official figures, over 60,000 Malaysians gave up their citizenship and left the country for good between 2010 and 2015, with Singapore and Australia, being the more popular destinations.

“When you talk about minimum wage, the minister or deputy minister of human resources will go berserk.

“They will say that there will be massive unemployment as businesses will close down,” Santiago said, giving one example of why the brain drain was showing no signs of stopping in Malaysia.

He added that the reality on the ground however, was that people were struggling to put food on the table.

Santiago remarked that although Putrajaya often said the gap between the rich and the poor was closing, data from the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) painted a different picture.

According to the EPF, half of the fund’s savings, or RM47.2 billion, belonged to 0.4% of contributors.

“This tells us a lot about inequality in the country. A small group has a big chunk and a big group of people have a small chunk.”

Santiago said there was a need to bring back a balance of power in the country, failing which the elites’ intervention in defining Malaysia would be far more entrenched.

“Power must be returned to the people and people must begin to exercise their power,” he said, adding people on the ground should work with trade unions, people’s associations and local communities on local and national issues.

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