It is time the people think of the many and not worry about the few. It is time we choose political power which will tax the rich and use the money to improve public health care, improve rural infrastructure, build affordable houses and increase the minimum wage.
Oxfam International revealed that Asia’s billionaires have increased their wealth by 74% while 148 million others in the region have been pushed into poverty since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The only solution people are talking about nowadays is about taking out their own EPF (pension fund) savings. We live in such a desperate situation and it is clear that the majority of people are pushed into a corner while the super rich make money and increase their profits.
Every time we talk about raising the minimum wage, increasing social security of the rakyat (people), the employers organise themselves and fight to the teeth to keep wages and welfare benefits low. The current political parties believe in all sorts of obsolete ideas like trickle-down economics and the wonders of neoliberal policies. In Latin America, one after another government is falling because the problems of the majority are not solved.
It is time the politicians raised the plight of the majority of the people. While 40% of our economy is controlled by GLCs (government-owned enterprises), they do not seek to eradicate poverty and bring down income disparity. They are just there to give fat salaries and ensure a status quo of political support for the elite.
The Oxfam report proposed several solutions, such as raising taxation on rich individuals and companies and greater investment in public services and social protection. These are exactly the kind of things Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) has been talking about, which will help reduce inequality and ensure a better future for the many. Instead of addressing these, Malaysian politics and policies are riddled with racial and religious distractions to keep us busy.
[Reprinted from thinkleft.net. S Arutchelvan is the deputy chairperson of the Parti Sosialis Malaysia (Socialist Party of Malaysia).]