Symposium on Cost of Living 2023 addresses key challenges and innovations

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Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali takes a walk through the booths and gallery walk during the symposium.

THE recent conclusion of the Symposium on Cost of Living 2023 in Malaysia can be described as nothing short of a resounding success, as it serves as a significant turning point in the country’s continuous endeavours to tackle the complex issues associated with the cost of living. This momentous event, which was a result of a collaborative effort between the government and key stakeholders such as the Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Ministry (KPDN) and the National Action Council on Cost of Living (Naccol), clearly demonstrated a steadfast commitment to seeking out groundbreaking solutions through productive and insightful discussions.

Over the course of the two-day symposium, which attracted a large and varied group of over 600 participants from different sectors, a wide range of topics related to the cost of living were extensively examined. These discussions delved into important areas such as ensuring social protection guarantees and promoting healthy lifestyle practices. Additionally, the symposium also delved into the role of philanthropy and its influence on business communities, providing a thorough and all-encompassing exploration of the complex issues surrounding the cost of living.

The SCOL 2023 opening ceremony was officiated by Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali (centre) on behalf of the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, at the Exhibition and Convention Center, IOI City Mall.

During the symposium, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi highlighted the significant role that this event plays in bringing attention to a fresh agenda aimed at tackling the rising cost of living. He also acknowledged the invaluable contributions made by past discussions held under the auspices of the SCOL, which have greatly influenced the government’s decision-making process and resulted in impactful measures being implemented.

Significantly, in-depth discussions such as the comparison between “KOS SARA HIDUP” (basic living expenses) and “KOS GAYA HIDUP” (lifestyle expenses) shed light on the intricate interplay between personal choices and the financial implications they entail. Esteemed panellists and industry experts participating in sessions like “UKUR BAJU DI BADAN SENDIRI” (measure your own clothes) and “PERANAN DERMAWAN DALAM MENANGANI KOS SARA HIDUP” (the philanthropic role in addressing basic living expenses) provided invaluable insights into effective financial management strategies and the benevolent role played by philanthropists in alleviating the burden of living costs.

The symposium displayed its commitment to inclusivity by organising thought-provoking discussions such as “PERANAN MASYARAKAT MENURUT PERSPEKTIF SOSIAL DAN AGAMA” and “PERANAN KOMUNITI PERNIAGAAN DAN PENGGUNA,” which aimed to delve deeper into the social and religious perspectives on the role of communities, as well as the significance of business communities and consumers in relation to the cost of living.

These discussions provided a platform for attendees to explore and gain a comprehensive understanding of the multifaceted factors that contribute to the ever-present issue of the cost of living.

The event went above and beyond by incorporating extra elements, such as the speaker’s corner and the gallery walk with advocacy booths, which not only enhanced the level of engagement but also highlighted the active involvement of numerous organisations committed to tackling cost-of-living concerns.

Datuk Armizan Mohd gives away the prize for First Place winner of Speakers’ Corner.

As we come together to honour and applaud the triumphant participants of the speech competition, it becomes abundantly clear that their remarkable contributions serve as a poignant reminder of the pivotal role diverse voices play in shaping the ongoing dialogue surrounding the pressing issue of the cost of living. With utmost admiration, we acknowledge and commend the exceptional accomplishments of Muhammad Syakir Irfan Shaharuddin, Saudari Aineena Azman, Muhammad Haikal Hairee, Saudara Kuhan Karttikeyn Ravichandran, Mohammad Nazwinn Faddamy Suzuki, and Nurul Sabreena Md Sharan, as their stellar achievements serve as a testament to the remarkable talent and insightful perspectives that thrive within our nation’s esteemed academic institutions.

To sum up, the Symposium on Cost of Living 2023 has not solely served as a venue for significant dialogues, but it has also paved the way for ongoing cooperation and inventive approaches. As Malaysia grapples with the intricacies of the cost of living, the valuable insights and suggestions generated throughout this symposium will undeniably play a crucial role in shaping policies and initiatives towards a future that is not only economically resilient but also socially equitable.