KOTA KINABALU,. The Government must not be indifferent towards the rakyat’s grouses on the cost of living but instead present solutions and intervention programmes, said the Prime Minister.
“We must stabilise prices and, if possible, influence the market prices so that they will be affordable for the people,” Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said when launching the “Program Jualan Sentuhan Rakyat” (PJSR) or people’s sales yesterday.
He added that PJSR, under which basic goods such as cooking oil, rice and eggs are priced between 5% and 20% lower than market rate, is such a programme.
He also promised that this will be held twice monthly in Sabah soon.
Najib said there were traders who hiked prices because they wished to make excessive profits, blaming this on the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
“This is untrue because GST was done two years ago and today, there shouldn’t be an impact,” he said.
The people, said Najib, had also benefited from GST in the form of the Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) handouts.
He said BR1M allocations reached RM6.8bil this year, of which RM600mil was allocated for Sabah, up from RM564mil last year.
Also present were Sabah Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman and Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin.
In the evening, the Prime Minister launched a new TV channel dedicated to Sabah and Sarawak, TV OKEY (Original Knowledge, Exciting for Youth), which will see more programmes in native languages.
“Today, the Kadazan and the Iban can only listen to the news twice a day in their language via RTM and the other ethnic groups can only do so via the radio.
“With TV OKEY, the Dusun can enjoy programmes in their language, and so can the Bajau.”
The channel, Najib added, will open up new opportunities for Sabahans and Sarawakians in the creative industry.
Also present were Musa, Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Abang Openg and Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak.