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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Malaysians set Budget priorities

Published: Tuesday October 22, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM 
Updated: Tuesday October 22, 2013 MYT 9:06:14 AM

PETALING JAYA: Cost of living tops the list of what Malaysians want the Government to look at in Budget 2014, according to a poll on

In the poll, people can pick the five areas they believe need improving most from a list of 16.

They were also invited to submit ideas and complaints.

The other categories in the poll are housing and urban living, healthcare, transport and infrastructure, rural development, economic development, education, public safety and corruption, youth and sports, social welfare, public service, environment and agriculture, employment, taxation, business and finance, and culture and tourism.

The respondents deemed culture and tourism least important on the list, favouring bread-and-butter issues that affect day-to-day living.

Also ranked low are social welfare, environment and agriculture, and youth and sports.

The most popular suggestion in the housing and urban living category is for house prices to be controlled.

“There are many young people – especially with families – who deserve to have their own home. But extremely high house prices hinder young people,” said May Liya Shahid.

Suffian Muhili asked for a subsidy mechanism monitored via MyKad.

“To optimise the spending of subsidies, the Government should identify quota and put a cap on each subsidised item for deserving Malaysians.

“The mechanism can be regulated and monitored via our MyKad,” he said.

“For example, every car owner (one car per person) is given 100 litres of petrol under subsidised rates per month. The rest needs to be paid based on market price.”

Under healthcare, ‘Tuan Badang’ asked for dialysis patients to be given a discount card by the Welfare Department in case they needed to be treated at private hospitals.

“Many dialysis patients have to wait quite a while to receive dialysis at government hospitals.

“Many cannot afford to go to private dialysis centres because treatment is quite expensive,” he said.

The most ‘liked’ suggestion under the public safety and corruption category is a call to bring back the Internal Security Act in view of the increase in the crime rate since it was repealed.

“I’ve seen a lot of crime occurring after the Act was repealed,” said Zulkifli Sa’at.

Muhammad Hafizi Abdul Halim felt education could be improved if teachers had clerks to assist with work – a suggestion that received 265 “likes”.

“Clerks to handle school fees, entering marks in the system, listing classes and so on – this can help reduce the burden on teachers,” he said.

Mohamad Ihsan asked for free wireless Internet access. This was echoed by Jeremy Chua, who said villages should be the first priority.

“Mazlan” suggested investment in large-scale agriculture and encouraging knowledge-sharing among farmers.

Rosniza Hanim Abdul Rahim called for a nationwide MRT system to ease travel.

“Du Vivant” said the Government should stop handouts, adding: “Use the money spent on BR1M or smartphone rebates on work opportunities and quality of life.”

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