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Sungai Bakap by-election puts spotlight on rising cost of living

Publish date: Tue, 25 Jun 2024, 11:50 AM

NIBONG TEBAL: As the Sungai Bakap by-election nears, candidates are facing strong feedback from voters over the escalating cost of living during their campaigns.

Local concerns have taken centrestage, with voters expressing deep frustrations about the rising expenses in their daily lives.

Many are urging the candidates to prioritise solutions for these economic challenges.

Mohd Saad Mohd Non, 37, a night market trader, highlighted the economic downturn affecting his business.

He used to sell more than 80 types of biscuits when times were good. Now, he only has 35 on display.

Business for him has also dipped by 50 per cent.

"Things have become more costly, forcing me to reduce the variety of biscuits I sell and increase prices," he lamented.

He also noted the impact of diesel price hikes, which have significantly added to his operational costs.

"I used to spend about RM150 on diesel a week. Now, it's about RM230 a week. Even the suppliers had hiked up their prices, leaving me no choice but to also do the same.

"I tried applying for the fleet card on at least three occasions but to no avail. It is simply troublesome," he told the New Straits Times when met at the Taman Pekatra night market here yesterday.

"I hope the candidates understand our struggles and make addressing the cost of living their top agenda," he added.

Another trader, Mohd Fairos Mohd Yatim, 39, echoed these sentiments, expressing concerns over the fluctuating prices of essential goods like chicken.

"Business isn't as brisk as before, and obtaining a fleet card to manage costs has been an ongoing challenge," he said.

Housewife Rosmimi Zakaria, 53, from Taman Puteri Gunung, shared her daily struggle to feed her large family of six amid rising food prices.

"The cost of chicken alone has risen, making budgeting a constant challenge," she explained.

The Election Commission has fixed polling day on July 6.

Candidates for Sungai Bakap by-election - Abidin Ismail from Perikatan Nasional and Dr Joohari Ariffin from Pakatan Harapan - have both acknowledged the pressing concerns of the electorate.

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