Chong: Establish Food Pricing Stabilisation Fund, provide transportation subsidies to tackle inflation

Chong Chieng Jen

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KUCHING, June 27: Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman Chong Chieng Jen proposed to Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) to set up a Food Pricing Stabilisation Fund to stabilise the price of animal feed and fertilisers, and provide subsidies for transportation to help tackle high costs of living in Sarawak.

According to Chong, these two are the main factors driving Sarawak’s high inflation rate.

“If the government can quickly allocate funds to help the industry concerned, this will help to reduce the inflation rate,” he said in a statement today.

Chong, who is also Padungan assemblyman, said that as the current inflation is mainly supply-push inflation, reducing production costs is the key to tackling it.

He said cash hand-outs to the public might be helpful to cushion the impact in the short term, but it also runs the danger of fueling and exacerbating the inflation rate if the supply-push factors are not addressed effectively.

He also urged the State government to allocate the fund to help curb inflation and ease the sufferings of the people and the business sector.

“Without effectively bringing the prices of food and costs of living down, the billions of revenues touted by the GPS government has no meaning to the common people on the street,” he said.

Chong pointed out that while the Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg is celebrating the multi-billions “bountiful harvest” from State Sales Tax (SST) on petroleum products, he should also be helping the people to tackle inflation and the ever-rising costs of living suffered by the people of Sarawak.

“In the last few weeks, we have read in the news that the GPS Government has billions of revenue, but ironically, Sarawak still records one of the highest increases in poverty rates in the country.

The situation is made worse with the current high inflation rates, which has impacted most those in the low-middle income group,” he added.

The State government, he opined, with the billions in revenue, the highest revenue earning state in the country, is in the best position to help the people tackle the inflation issue, especially the high costs of food production.

“Yet, it seems that the GPS Government is unmoved by the suffering of the people resulting from the high costs of living,” he said. — DayakDaily