Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali says everyone must fight inflation regardless of race. – The Malaysian Insider pic, March 2, 2015.
Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali in a Sinar Harian report said today that blaming the Chinese community for inflation was just an excuse to cover up Putrajaya’s own failures in managing the country’s economy.
In the report, Azmin said the rising prices of goods in recent times had nothing to do with race and that accusing one community of being responsible for it was regrettable.
“Don’t blame the Chinese whenever there is inflation and play up racial sentiments to cover up your own weaknesses,” he said.
“If one wants to fight inflation and reduce prices, everybody must fight for it because price hike is colour blind. It does not matter if you are Malay, Chinese, Indians or Kadazans,” the Bahasa Malaysia daily reported him as saying.
Azmin’s remark comes after Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob started a firestorm last month after he urged Malay consumers to boycott Chinese businesses over the latter’s refusal to lower prices after the drop in oil prices.
Azmin said the Chinese were not at fault and that blame should be directed at the non-transparent system which was causing the leakages.
He said the Chinese community had played an important role in the development of the nation’s economy since independence and urged narrow-minded individuals to accept this fact.
Putrajaya yesterday launched the National Price Reduction Campaign 2015 amid the hike in fuel prices.
Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Hasan Malek reportedly said that fuel prices were not the only factor that determined the prices of goods.
“The other factors are the unexpected weather, natural disasters, and increased cost of rental, tariffs, foreign currency exchange and the economic environment.
“Rising food prices is universal and occurs anywhere,” he said.
Ismail was recently quoted as saying that he regretted his remark and had not intended to create any racial tension. He added that the remarks were targeted at traders who did not want to lower prices of goods, irrespective of race. – March 2, 2015.