PUTRAJAYA, Jan 8, 2016:
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today chaired the first meeting of the high level committee to address cost of living issues here.
The three-hour meeting was organised in collaboration with various non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to ensure that there were ongoing efforts being taken in order to discuss and combat issues pertaining to the rise in cost of living.
The committee, which also comprises six ministers and the secretaries-general of the ministries involved, is an extension of the Cost of Living Special Cabinet Committee which is also chaired by Ahmad Zahid.
The ministers present at the meeting were Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar, Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh and Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid.
Two other ministers were International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed and Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah.
Meanwhile Hamzah told a media conference later that, among others, the meeting discussed issues on educating consumers, such as the importance of using the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and how economic factors and oil prices influenced the increase in prices of goods.
“As such, there is a need to have a holistic communication method to avoid misunderstanding or distortion on the hike of prices and we discussed, among others, whether there is a need to teach consumerism at schools,” he said.
Hamzah said improvement of student cards was also discussed at the meeting so that it could be adopted in all parts of the country.
“We also discussed in general the measures to be taken and detailed information will be presented and decided at the forthcoming Special Cabinet Committee meeting on the cost of living,” he said.
He said the high level meeting would be held at least once a month.