Challenge to Tun Tan Siew Sin
When prices of essential commodities and ordinary consumer items are one after another going up, increasing the burden and hardships of the housewives and the common man, all that the Minister of Finance, Tun Tan Siew Sin, can do is to give a verbal assurance that there is no danger of inflation in te country in a big way.
What has Tun Tan Siew Sin got to say about the chain increase of prices of consumer items and essential goods, like salt, sugar, cooking oil, bread, meat, milk, petrol, etc.
Of course, for those who are rich and wealthy, and have great property and estates, the increases of prices of these goods do not cause them to lose any sleep.
But for the poor and the needy, who are already struggling just to maintain their family, ensure that their dependants get a square meal, and give their children proper education, these price increases will add to their hardship, suffering and misery.
A Minister of Finance should not think of the rich and well-to-do only, he must think and safeguard the welfare of the poor and the needy, in both the urban and rural areas.
I challenge the Minister of Finance to declare his stand on the recent price increases of a chain of essential goods and consumer items, and the expected increases of others in the coming days.
Does Tun Tan support these prices increases, and regard them as justified? Or does he agree with the DAP that many of these increases are unjustified, and benefit only the big business interest at the expense of the small consumers, causing greater hardships and suffering to the poor.
If Tun Tan agrees with the DAP that these prices increases are detrimental to the welfare of the poor, and that many of them are unjustified, then will he agree to my suggestion few days ago that the government should set up a consumers watchdog committee, with representation from all political parties and consumer associations, to publicly scrutinise the justification or other wise of every price increase of essential goods.
Tun Tan may choose to keep silent on my challenge to him to declare his stand on the recent price increases. If he does so, then it must mean that he fully support such price increases.