Malaysia Government has come up with the 10th Malaysia Plan to attempt to even up the wealth distribution and build up the progress of the nation. And the latest propaganda was a two page splurge on the local Malaysia news to inform the public about the new economic plan. After the current coalition has suffer quite a set back politically from the opposition that is gaining strength they are spending a fair bit on propaganda to change the people’s perception of them. I think that it is good to have a strong opposition that way the government won’t become complacent in their lofty office and always take things for granted. There is a strong discontent from the people, the “rakyat” so to speak because many of the many economic plans and projects did not seem to benefit the people.

10th Malaysia Plan Infographic from the papers

As a man on the street trying to make ends meet, the steady rise of food prices meant our disposable income is shrinking. Although the “official” inflation rate is place at about 3-5%, most of the people on the street do not believe in it. Having studied Economics, the inflation figure can be manipulated by changing the basket of goods used for indexing. This was done during the eighties when housing and cars were removed from the basket thus artificially making the inflation figure look nice. And perhaps to attract investors and woo foreigners who may want to opt for the MM2H program (Malaysia My Second Home Program).

In stark reality, food being a basic necessity and of course shelter, meaning housing has shot up considerably recently. Unfortunately our income has not caught up with the reality of the situation. Our savings are being eroded with only 2.5% Fixed Deposit rate it is not even enough to pair off the official inflation rate let alone against the actual inflation which felt more like 10 to 20% increase. That’s for those who are fortunate to have any savings, it seems many are just scraping by with hardly any leftovers.

Najib, I'm Sorry

And so we have this “Najib, I’m Sorry” ad from the opposition showing the stark reality of the situation. Reading the comments on the Malaysian Insider, many of the lay people felt a very close connection with the poster. With just enough to scrape by for the month and the current government requesting the people to change their lifestyle is actually very ignorant of the MP to say such thing when there is no lifestyle to begin with.

For a household of say four comprising husband and wife and two kids, a bare minimum of RM3,000 to RM4,000 per month household income is barely only just enough. With about as much as half taken up by housing loan, transportation, and the balance half taken up by food and education. That’s the reality of the situation for many. To have any balance leftover for a local tourism Malaysia travel holiday would certainly be a big bonus!

Anyway, hopefully the new 10th Malaysia Plan will address the situation of the everyday man in the street and not just end up being mere rhetoric and propaganda just to woo back the votes.

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