DAP calls for a permanent consumers’ watchdog committee to check unreasonable price increases of commodities

The Secretary-General of DAP and Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka, Mr.Lim Kit Siang, today issued the following statement:

DAP calls for a permanent consumers’ watchdog committee to check unreasonable price increases of commodities

The increase in the price of petrol and diesel is the latest in a series of increases in the prices of basic essential and consumer items, which had included salt, sugar, bread, cooking oil, soap, meat.

The cost of living has continued to rise steeply, causing a chain reaction of further increases in te price of other consumer items.

For the majority of the people, who are of the low-income bracket and the poor, these price increases are a intolerable burden, they cause grave hardships to the masses of Malaysians, in particular the people in the kampongs and rural areas.

To those with a fixed wage, and those drawing fixed pensions, their lost must be a very harsh one, as their income can now buy them less essential foodstuffs and consumer goods.

It is in this crisis spiralling cost of living that the small man of all races in Malaysia need help. For the rich, the wealthy, the tycoons, the well-to-do are not affected by such price increases.

For the small man, who have already come to their wits’ end just to maintain their family, such increases in consumer goods will oppress them further.

A government which cares for the welfare of the common man, and not for the tycoon, the big businessman, the landed interest, the rich, will exert its energies towards relieving the burden of the small man in this situation of spiralling cost of living.

The DAP therefore calls on the government to take concrete action to check the spiralling cost of living, to look after the poor and the needy.

The DAP proposes the immediate formation of a permanent consumers’ watchdog committee, comprising representatives from political parties and consumers’ associations, with power to hold public inquiries into increas of prices of any bommodity, to sub-poena witnesses and receive representations from interested persons, to determine whether any price increase is justified or not.

The DAP has no doubt that if there had been such an inquiry, it will be found that many price increases, such as the increases in petrol and diesel, and the increase in the price of sugar, are completely unjustified and should be abolished.

The DAP is prepared to extent all assistance and service to the government to serve on such a committee, to safeguard the interest of the small man against the big business interest, which try to exploit and suck the blood of the Malaysian masses.