KUALA LUMPUR: Calling on the Government to stop further price hikes, Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin said the people are now at a “breaking point” in dealing with the burden.
“We all know that 2015 has been a year when people have been shocked with various price hikes.
“One by one, price and fees go up, putting more burden on the people. Savings at the end of the month are increasingly drying up, if there is any left.
“Debts are on the rise and some are forced to turn to loan sharks,” said Khairy, the Youth and Sports Minister, at the wing’s annual general assembly on Wednesday.
Khairy stressed that the Youth was not taking a populist stand in highlighting the cost of living issues.
“We understand the need for these measures. But at the same time, when the people are laden with pressures of rising cost of living, we can no longer stay silent,” he said.
“We are not asking for the abolishment of all and sundry, but Umno Youth wants to send this message to the party leadership and the Government â€“ enough!
“Stop these price hikes, no more increases,” he said to cheers from the delegates.
“If toll prices need to be raised, spare the intercity highways such as the North-South Expressway and the East Coast Expressway.
“That was our promise. And today I reiterate again, Umno Youth rejects any further increase in toll for these two highways or any other highways for that matter,” he said.
“Same goes for other price increases. Although we understand the need for these painful steps, the reality is that the people can no longer take any more and have reached their breaking point.
“So this is enough. Do not add more to the peopleâ€™s burden. Do not douse petrol on the flames of anger in peopleâ€™s hearts. Umno Youth wants the Government to stop all further price increases after this. Enough is enough,” he said.
Khairy added that the next two years would be for the savings gathered from the GST, subsidy rationalisation and increase of other fares to be channeled back to the people.
He suggested giving special discounts for youths who take public transport as what has been done overseas.
“When highway tolls increase, we ask the young to take public transport. Now after the highway tolls were increased, Komuter, ERL and all kinds of other fares went up as well. What other choice do the people have; ask them to travel by foot?” he said.