Tackle chal­lenges fac­ing low-in­come group

New Straits Times - - Letters -

THE World Bank in its “East Asia and Pa­cific Eco­nomic Up­date of Oct 3, 2017” pre­sented a sum­mary en­ti­tled “Bal­anc­ing Act” on Malaysia.

So, what are the main mes­sages of the bank to Malaysia?

The Malaysian econ­omy has done well, with a growth of 5.7 per cent in the first half of this year.

The bank notes that pri­vate con­sump­tion is large, es­ti­mated at 6.6 per cent this year and 6.5 per cent next year.

How­ever, to­tal in­vest­ment is ex­pected to in­crease at a slower pace of 6.1 per cent this year and only 3.2 per cent next year.

In­fla­tion rose to 4.1 per cent in the first half of this year.

This is high and is likely to rise fur­ther with the rel­a­tively weak ring­git.

The prices of food rose by a high of 4.2 per cent for the 12month pe­riod end­ing July this year.

This poses chal­lenges, es­pe­cially to those in the low-in­come group.

House prices have risen faster than our in­come growth, ac­cord­ing to the bank.

This makes the ba­sic need for hous­ing to be­come more un­af­ford­able to the low-in­come group.

It is time the gov­ern­ment im­ple­mented the In­dus­trial Build­ing Sys­tem.

I hope that the com­ing 2018 Bud­get on Oct 27 will ad­dress the con­cerns ex­pressed by the World Bank.

FILE PIC

Ac­cord­ing to the World Bank, prices of food in Malaysia rose by 4.2 per cent for the 12-month pe­riod end­ing July 2017.

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