MALAYSIANS complain about rising prices, which lead to expenditure exceeding income, especially for those who are in the low- and middle-income groups.
It is reported that RM4,000 is not enough for the average family in Kuala Lumpur.
Ironically, prices of goods are increasing even when oil prices fell to the lowest in decades.
Studies have shown that the high cost of living was due to the monopoly in the supply chain, an atypical steady high demand because of financial access and credit facilities, low purchasing power and partly due to competition from foreign workers.
There are many reasons why the cost of living has skyrocketed, but the question is, can the problem with rising cost of living be solved?
The hike in the cost of living is a symptom rather than the real problem.
It is just a symptom of social disease in the economy.
Corrupt individuals lead to problems in the supply chain, monopolistic powers, unproductive workers, dishonest law enforcement personnel and conspicuous spending
The more crucial question is, why did this problem arise? It boils down to two causes.
The first is the education system and the second is the social framework.
Why can’t our education system transform the majority of the people into citizens who are more caring, ethical and productive?
Perhaps there is no information about the comparison of current and former education systems, but the public has noted that there are differences between the previous and current generation.
We need to admit that what is happening is the result of a system that was built about 50 years ago and may not be as effective now as it was then.
We should not play the blame game.
Instead, we should understand that each of us is responsible and obligated to work towards a better society with high integrity and strong ethics, and one that is honest, trustworthy and efficient.
Good society is a necessary condition to build a strong and sustainable economy.
Although the question of the high cost of living is more of an economic one, its solution covers all areas of the social system.
The cause of the rising cost of living is individual depravity.
Therefore, any effort to form or shape the individual should take precedence.
Tamat Sarmidi, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor