Ahmad Maslan: Stop complaining, ‘no such thing’ as drop in living costs

Datuk Ahmad Maslan attends the public forum on 1MDB, Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) and Budget 2016 at the PWTC in Kuala Lumpur. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Datuk Ahmad Maslan attends the public forum on 1MDB, Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) and Budget 2016 at the PWTC in Kuala Lumpur. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 6 — Malaysians should stop whining about their living costs, Umno’s Datuk Ahmad Maslan said today, adding that there was no country in the world where it would decrease.

The deputy minister of international trade and industry said Malaysians should instead change their attitude and learn to supplement their income to deal with a costlier lifestyle.

“I would like to go to a country that the cost of living last year was 10,000 but this year it goes down to 9,000 and next year to 8,000, there’s no such thing. Cost of living will always increase.

“Shouting is no point because cost of living is an issue for everyone... But importantly we must change our attitude to become a nation of entrepreneurs,” he said during an interview on TV3’s talk show Wanita Hari Ini.

During the segment titled “#2Kerja & #TambahPendapatan,” he encouraged viewers to explore supplementary sources of income online via social media, to transform Malaysia into a more enterprising nation.

“My daughter buys her headscarves online. My son buys his shoes online. Food also we buy online. But why are we just buying? Now we must be the sellers too,” he said.

He added that the public should stop giving excuses for not pursuing supplementary businesses, and instead to keep trying new business ventures.

“There are all sorts of excuses, we must reject that. But sometimes if we fail at plan A we don’t be disappointed because there are other 25 letters in the alphabet. If a doesn’t work then there is still plan B, C, D and E. It’s all about the attitude,” he said.

However, being business savvy isn’t enough, he added, as Malaysians also need to be smart consumers to curb with the rising cost of living.

“Business is a strategy but we must also become smart consumers. When buying, go for sales and choose ethical vendors. Do a personal budget and familial budget.

“If we spend beyond our means of course it’ll increase our cost of living but if you set certain limits and at the same time look at the #tambahpendapatan then we can get extra income,” he said.

Ahmad sparked backlash when he reportedly said last week that it was not wrong to hold two jobs in Malaysia to address the rising cost of living.

He sought to defend himself from the criticism on Twitter by saying he held three jobs, and insisted that he meant Malaysians could be entrepreneurial to earn side income.

The deputy minister has come under criticism from multiple sources including members of the public, comedians and political rivals.