Use Mamak Stall Index to measure real inflation

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KUALA LUMPUR: The MTUC would like to invite the Minister of Human Resources and his officers to discuss workers’ issues in the country in view of the deteriorating economic conditions in the country. “There’s also a need to handle the political and economic issues that are fast dragging the country down.”

“A big concern is the recent report that foreign investors may pull out another USD1 billion out of the bond market this week as the bonds mature.”

It’s really bad that investor confidence was weakening and where this was being attributed to political issues, said MTUC Secretary-General N. Gopal Krishnan in a statement. “Clearly, the government needs to do something drastic to overcome this issue. Apart from the weakening foreign investor confidence, the morale of workers in the country, especially Malaysians, are also being affected.”

“We are fast losing trust in the government’s ability to handle matters transparently and in the interest of the people.”

Also, in these times, the MTUC would like the government to declare whether foreign workers are still being brought into the country, said Gopal in the statement. “The Ministry of Human Resources should make an open declaration of the numbers.”

“Many issues which the MTUC raised with the Ministry and the Minister of Human Resources have remained unaddressed.”

The union was expressing its concern on the ongoing economic and political issues facing the country. “With the ringgit depreciating against major currencies, the cost of imports have gone up and as a direct consequence of this, there has been a further rise in the cost of living.”

“The economic figures used such as inflation and the Consumer Price Index (CPI) does not reflect the real rise in the cost of living.”

Gopal prefers to use the Mamak Stall Index to measure real inflation. “Just compare prices at the mamak stalls over the last one year. When other essentials such as rent, schooling for children, transport etc are also taken into account, Malaysian workers especially those from the lower income group are badly affected.”

The union charged that jobs are being impacted in the current economic climate and the rate of retrenchment has been rising. “Employers are also taking advantage of the situation through various means. The government, through the Ministry of Human Resources, should intervene to ensure that employers are not abusing the system.”