Wednesday, June 16

Resolve, not just monitor price hikes – Jeffrey


KOTA KINABALU: There is no point in monitoring price increases without solving the problems or reducing the burden of the people caused by the price hikes, said STAR Sabah chief Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan.

He contended that the price hikes were caused by the government and the ordinary citizens are suffering from the higher cost of living as a result of the government’s broken promises.

“What is the use of monitoring prices if it does not reduce prices and does not reduce the burden and cost of living of the people,” asked Jeffrey.

Commenting on the setting up of a special committee to probe on the increase in prices of goods in Sabah as announced recently by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, Jeffrey reckoned that the State government needed to think outside the box and not simply follow their clueless federal counterpart.

“It looks like everyone else other than the government and its ministers is feeling the burden of the price hikes and is protesting.

“Only the ministers and their politically blind followers are defending the government’s moves that caused the price hikes,” he said.

“With due respect, the Chief Minister and the Sabah government should come out with concrete plans that focus on ways to help reduce prices or to reduce the impact of the price hikes,” Jeffrey added.

The Bingkor assemblyman said price hikes would continue due to the wrong government policies.

According to him, a simple 20 sen increase in petrol and diesel prices would cause a chain reaction in prices, starting with higher transportation costs and higher costs of production. A 16.9% hike in electricity tariff will increase electricity bills and contribute to higher costs of operations and production.

“An economic student will tell you that prices will go up due to the petrol/diesel and electricity tariff hikes with cost increases being passed on to consumers.

“It seems that I need not remind the Sabah government that it can take various steps to reduce prices. Changes in government policies or solutions are available on the table,” reminded Jeffrey.

“I wonder what is stopping the Sabah government from asking for exemption of the petrol and diesel price hikes as well as waiver of the electricity tariff increases just like in Sarawak or for a review to increase the petroleum royalty from Petronas to 20%,” queried Jeffrey.