Poll: Taxpayers want Malaysian govt to help them juggle expenses

PETALING JAYA, Malaysia - Rising cost of living is a main concern among Malaysians as is seen from the Government's Budget 2015 poll which ends today.

With less than two weeks to go before Budget 2015 is tabled, taxpayers on bit.ly/1uvAKz2 want the Government to look into measures that would help them better juggle their household expenses.

Teacher Zubair Samat from Langkawi, for instance, said the rising cost of living "is worrying" because his salary did not increase in tandem.

"My priority for Budget 2015 is for lower personal income tax," said the 50-year-old father of six.

"I hope it will be a rakyat-friendly budget," he added.

Zubair also called on the Government to provide a detailed explanation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to help ordinary folks like him understand its impact on their lives next year.

As at 4pm yesterday, the poll attracted about 7,500 respondents. Besides cost of living, their concerns touched on employment, housing and urban living, social welfare and education.

Cost of living was the most popular topic, attracting discussions on grocery and car prices, childcare, books and the availability of 1Malaysia products. Most of the people felt that the price of petrol should be reduced, too.

New father Dennis Yeoh, 29, said his wife was considering quitting her job to be a stay-at-home mum but doing so would be too much of a financial strain on the family.

"Middle-income families like ours are concerned with rising cost of living because petrol, housing and healthcare costs have all skyrocketed," he said.

Kedahan M. Gokina, 28, called on the Government to assist singles like her with a special allocation. "A scheme like BR1M or BB1M for us who need to care for our elderly parents would come in handy," she pointed out. "The queues at government hospitals are too long for the elderly while private medical costs is high."

Student Ang Wei Kate, 18, said she was worried about her future as prices of "everything seems to be soaring".

Yesterday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak asked his Twitter and Facebook followers whether the GST was among the people's main concern. He had earlier urged Malaysians to vote for Budget 2015 topics that mattered most to them.