JOHOR BARU, May 23 — PKR’s outspoken Johor parliamentarian Hassan Abdul Karim urged people to protest against the government’s failure in managing rising prices of essential food items that has been aggravated by the weak Malaysian ringgit.
The Pasir Gudang MP listed the declining value of the Malaysian ringgit, the soaring cost of food items, and the failure of the government in managing such issues as pertinent points in calling for a street demonstration.
"The people’s only choice now is to go to the streets and protest,” Hassan said in a statement issued last night.
The social activist turned politician signed off on the statement saying that he will be responsible for the protest call.
However, he did not detail how the protest should be held as well as its location, date and time.
Hassan, a known socialist advocate and activist, has championed the importance of an equal share of economic resources for the people.
He was responding to the current issue of soaring prices of essential food items such as chickens and wheat flour.
Last Thursday the ringgit stood at RM4.40 against the US dollar.
Malaysia imports about 60 per cent of its food needs, and has been affected by high import prices.
Last night, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the weekly Cabinet meeting will be brought forward to today to discuss cost of living and food supply issues. He said the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry and the Agriculture and Food Industry Ministry would present short and long-term plans at the meeting.
"We will not only focus on the issue of chicken supply, but we will also look at two things, which is our cost of living that we predict will increase. This is a global phenomenon due to the (Russia-Ukraine) war,” Ismail Sabri told reporters after opening the Symposium on Internationalisation of Bahasa Melayu at Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) in Kuala Lumpur.
Last Wednesday, Ismail Sabri waived the Approved Permit (AP) requirement for food imports in a bid to alleviate some of the problems stemming from global supply shortages that is squeezing food import prices.