Why no Cost of Living Action Council meeting since Dec 13, asks Muhyiddin

The priority of any government is to ensure that the cost of living is manageable, but former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin claims this is not happening in Malaysia.

The Pagoh MP slammed Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for not addressing the issue, saying it was a dereliction of duty.

“The reason I say this is because the Cost of Living Action Council last met on Dec 13,” Muhyiddin told Dewan Rakyat today, while debating Budget 2023.

“Something this important should see the council meeting at least once every two weeks.

“When the people ask for solutions, they get no reply. There does not seem to be any seriousness or urgency in addressing this problem. How can this be?”

The rising cost of living has been a talking point for months, and last week, the government announced it would float the prices of chicken and eggs in the middle of the year.

The highest prices for eggs are 45 sen (for Grade A), 43 sen (Grade B), and 41 sen (Grade C), each. The maximum retail selling price for chicken in Peninsular Malaysia is RM9.40 per kilogramme.

However, the maximum selling price for both items differs in each zone and district in Langkawi, Labuan, Sabah, and Sarawak.

Muhyiddin also questioned if the government had done enough to eliminate the alleged cartels in the food industry.

“One of the promises in Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto was to get rid of cartels in the food industry and the basic needs sector,” he said.

“They said they would stop profiteering to help ease the people’s burden. But nothing has happened.

“In fact, there are many pledges in PH’s manifesto which remain pledges. Are they just rhetoric?”

Muhyiddin said among the unfulfilled promises were, not approving an equal allocation for all elected representatives, education sponsorships for those in the B40 group, and reducing, or eliminating the repayment of the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loans for the poor.

Muhyiddin, however, thanked Anwar for approving RM50 million in flood relief aid to Johor, but requested that it be increased to RM100 million because the flood situation this time, “is horrendous”.

He also urged the government to channel the RM1 billion allocation for additional retirement funds, to the flood relief work.

When presenting Budget 2023 on Feb 24, Anwar said the government would commit RM500 to EPF members between the ages of 40 and 54 who had less than RM10,000 in their Account 1.

Muhyiddin claimed that 53 per cent of contributors would not benefit from the allocation.

“As such, I urge the government to use that money to help with the flood relief work in Johor, especially in Pagoh, which is drowning,” said the Bersatu chairman.