JOHOR BARU, June 22 — A Johor DAP leader today urged the public to consider gathering in the streets of Kuala Lumpur for their voices to be heard by the government following the rising cost of living.
The state chapter vice-chief Sheikh Umar Bagharib Ali said the public assembling in large numbers in the state capital would send a signal of their frustrations to the ruling government.
“This crowd, numbering about a million people, will ‘shock’ the country’s leaders from continuing to ‘sleep’. The people want an immediate solution, not with the government continuing to play politics and not being focused on solving the people’s problems.
“The people are suffering right now,” said Sheikh Umar in a statement here.
He was responding to the current cost of living crisis, following Putrajaya’s announcement earlier today in withdrawing subsidies for essentials such as chicken and cooking oil next month.
The 37-year-old social-political activist pointed out that public assembly is a democratic right of the people.
“We have a constitutionally guaranteed right to assemble and make our voices heard. This is not the first time as the previous Bersih rallies have been held five times and activists have also held numerous other gatherings,” said Sheikh Umar who is also a member of the DAP’s central executive committee.
Sheikh Umar explained that the price of goods is rising exponentially and the government is slow to act.
Earlier, the PH presidential council demanded that the federal government reveal its plans for targeted subsidies and tackling the rising cost of living within 24 hours.
This comes as the government announced the removal of the ceiling price for chicken and chicken eggs, as well as subsidies for cooking oil in bottles of 2kg, 3kg and 5kg, from July 1.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob also announced that the subsidy for cooking oil in plastic packets will still be maintained by the government, and only that for bottled cooking oil will be removed.
He also announced a new round of cash aid as part of additional Bantuan Keluarga Malaysia (BKM) funds to combat rising prices, with the Phase 2 payment involving an allocation of RM1.11 billion and each BKM recipient will get up to RM400 depending on their respective BKM qualification category.