All invited to free pre-election forum on GST, rising cost of living

Publicity poster for the forum.

KUCHING, Feb 27: Rise of Sarawak Efforts (ROSE) is inviting members of the public to attend a free pre-election forum on GST and the rising cost of living to make sense of the statements of Malaysian leaders.

Titled “GST & Periuk Nasi Kitak”, the forum will be held this Saturday, March 3 at 7.15pm at Grand Continental Hotel at Jalan Ban Hock here. The forum will be conducted using Bahasa Malaysia as the language of communication.

Two distinguished panelists — Dr Muhammed Abdul Khalid and Azrul Azwar Ahmad Tajuddin — will shed light on the topics related to the Malaysian economy and the welfare and wealth of the people with some emphasis on the perspective and predicament of young working Malaysians.


“A recent survey amongst some 4,468 respondents found that most people (82 per cent) believed that the increase in cost of living in recent times is due to the implementation of GST. Is this a fair assessment? And why?

“What if you have been trying to make some sense of what is usually reported about how well Malaysia’s economy is doing e.g. GDP is at 5.9 per cent at Q4 2017 and other positive forecast and what many ordinary citizens are experiencing on the ground; feeling the pinch of rising costs of goods and services, transport and housing?

“These are among the questions that will be answered in the forum,” ROSE chairwoman Ann Teo told reporters.

Through this discussion and sharing of knowledge and information on particular policies and government actions that affect the people and their lives directly or indirectly, ROSE aims to bring about greater voter and citizens’ awareness that their everyday lives and felt realities are closely connected with what the government does or does not do.

“Conversely, as citizens and members of civil society, our participation as voters in elections (choosing the people who make these decisions) is the minimal one has to do,” added Teo.

Seen are Teo (seated right) and other organising committee members of “GST & Periuk Nasi Kitak”.

Dr Muhammed is currently head of a socio-economic policy research and consulting outfit based in KL and has written several books one of which is “The Color of Inequality; Ethnicity, Class Income and Wealth in Malaysia”.

He has been dubbed as a people’s economist and speaks the language of the layman when it comes to expressing what might be expert views. He is no stranger to public discussions and forums and his pre-budget 2018 views went viral last October.

Azrul Azwar is an economist by training and has about two decades of experience in financial markets, public policies, strategic planning and general investments. He was also once a special functions officer or adviser to the Chief Minister of Selangor. Currently he does consultancy and research work for a multitude of clients ranging from financial institutions, government agencies to NGOs and think-tanks.

This forum is the first in a series of pre-election forums that is being planned. It is organised in collaboration and partnership with other NGOs and civil societies namely Lawyer Kamek for Change, Ikram and others. — DayakDaily