Cost of living, jobs and wages top Malaysians’ worry list

By Teo Cheng Wee | Source: ANN
Economic concerns over the rising cost of living, jobs and wages have topped Malaysian voters’ list of worries since 2011, according to independent pollster Merdeka Centre, which conducts regular surveys on this issue.

In its most recent findings in January, 32 per cent of those interviewed regarded it as the most serious problem. The figure is double the 16 per cent who cited crime and social problems as the second-most pressing concern.

“Cost of living is an extremely important issue to Malaysians,” said opposition Democratic Action Party MP Tony Pua. “And that is an area where the BN (Barisan Nasional) has a huge advantage.”

The government will be hoping that its assistance programmes such as Tukar and Atom will help ease the financial squeeze Malaysians are in, evidenced by rising household debt in recent years. This was 80.5 per cent of GDP last year, up from 75.9 per cent in 2010.

Home prices in Malaysia have also jumped from 3.2 per cent a year on average between 2001 and 2009, to 9.1 per cent from 2010 to the first half of last year.