PETALING JAYA: The government must step in immediately to ease the heavy burden of those from the lower income bracket who are reeling from the effects of the weak ringgit and wage suppression by freezing the Goods and Services Tax (GST), said J Solomon in his capacity as vice president of the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC).
In a statement today, Solomon said, “In order to protect the interests of Malaysians particularly those with lower incomes, the Government must take immediate steps to freeze the GST in order to cushion the current hardship faced by Malaysians and restore confidence instead of taking all Malaysians through a wild goose chase in attempting to protect certain individuals.”
He said the ringgit, which fell as low as 4.2430 against the US dollar yesterday was the worst in 17 years and since it was expected to fall further, would have a “disastrous” effect on workers in the country.
“The weak ringgit will see businesses transferring their import prices on to consumers and time and again workers become the victims shouldering the financial burden.”
He also blamed the government and “its agents” of suppressing the wages of workers for the past 30 years and alleged that business owners would capitalise on the current situation by further depriving their workers of decent wage adjustments or increases.
He also said the conduct of “certain individuals” responsible for the current state of affairs in the country coupled by Prime Minister Najib Razak’s “silence and/or vague responses” on serious allegations, had shaken the people’s faith in the government and was having a negative effect on the ringgit’s value as well as investor confidence.