Low to middle-income earners may turn against Putrajaya, Zahid cautions

Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi speaks at the 2016 Umno General Assembly, November 29, 2016. ― Bernama pic
Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi speaks at the 2016 Umno General Assembly, November 29, 2016. ― Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 ― Malaysia’s bottom 40 per cent and middle 40 per cent of wage earners may distance themselves from the government unless care is taken to address their economic woes, Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said tonight.

He added that the two lower economic tier groups known as B40 and M40 respectively might even become the government’s “silent killer”, as the uncertain global economic situation has made Malaysians increasingly antagonistic towards Putrajaya.

“I would like to stress that the government pays heed to the burdens faced by the B40 and M40 groups whose numbers are growing in this country.

“I understand that if this problem is not handled properly, there are concerns that they might distance themselves from the government. It is a concern that they might change into a silent killer to the government,” Zahid said in his speech opening the assemblies of Umno’s three wings at the Putra World Trade Centre here.

He said the world economic situation has affected the country’s performance and how Malaysians view the Barisan Nasional (BN) ruling government.

“The uncertain world economy has also affected the economic growth of our country. It has contributed to the change in social behaviour, political views and the antagonistic attitude towards the government,” he said.

Zahid who is also deputy prime minister and home minister said in order to address this concern, Umno as the main party in BN has implemented several measures to improve the quality of life, such as building 10,000 homes in the city for young Malaysians.

He also reminded the Malays to change their way of thinking in line with the economic challenges faced.

“The Malay community has changed. The change in the Malay community revolves around the improvement in status and lifestyle especially for those in the cities.

“However, there are many Malays who are in a dire state living in cities as they need a transformation in their mindset, attitudes and lifestyles.

“Some of them are caught up in the old traditions and cultures, which are not suitable with the changing times that results in them being poor,” he added.

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