by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Thursday, 31st December 1992:
1992 ending with a sour note for ordinary Malaysians as they are faced with a new chain series of new price increases and hardships which will make 1993 a difficult year for them to meet basic human needs
1992 ending with a sour note for ordinary Malaysians as they are faced with a new chain series of price increases and hardships, in many cases approved by the government itself.
In Penang for instance, the new year of 1993 will be ushered in with increases in water rates – which will set the pace for other State water authorities to follow suit to increase their water charges.
The Penang Chief Minister, Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, should not have approved the new increase in water rates, without first giving the consumers in Penang the opportunity to give their views about the price increase, as well as the quality of water service and water supply in Penang.
DAP calls on Dr. Koh Tsu Koon to freeze the increase in water rates and establish the principle that before the rates of any public utilities are increased, the consumers should be given a chance to give their views first.
1993 will also be ushered in with a 50 per cent increase in the toll rates for the North-South Highway by PLUS, which is an exorbitant and extortionate increase.
The Cabinet had clearly failed to look after the interests of the travelling public in giving a blank cheque to PLUS to increase it North-South Highway toll rate by 50 per cent.
Another bad news for the low-income Malaysians is the recent announcement by the Minister for Housing and Local Government, Dr. Ting Chew Peh, that the government proposes to raise the definition of low-cost housing from the present $ 25,000 to as high as $ 37,500.
Having failed to ensure that Malaysians from the low-income groups could get a roof over their heads by meeting the government’s own low-cost housing targets which should have been met three years ago, the Housing Minister is looking for an easy way out by raising the definition of low-cost housing from $ 25,000 to$ 37,500.
Only the developers will welcome such an announcement, as it is another reminder that 1993 is going to be a difficult year for ordinary Malaysians to meet their basic human needs.