Economic slumps, What will happen next?

By Remy Majangkim, MA63, Activist, Tutor, and Historian


KOTA KINABALU: Good day, everyone. I wish you well and blessings for the coming months. One Malaysian ringgit is currently worth RM 4.79 in USD 1. That also means that RM 1.00 equals USD 21 cents. By next month, we will see an increase in the price of rice with the introduction of “Beras Madani.” Furthermore, it was also announced that SST will be increased from 6% to 8% effective this March. Now, to add more wounds to an already open cut, the United States and European countries are heading backwards in their economies with the war in Ukraine with Russia and the continued genocide by Israel against the Palestinian people.
The future looks bleak as we speak for our children. Recently, there has been a rise in crimes involving theft and assault in the state. The unfortunate incident involved a clerk who was smashed on the head with a wooden stick for the amount of RM50.00 with other personal belongings. This shockwave within the community reflects the urgency for further security not only in the capital but in the outskirts of satellite towns.
In a private discussion over lunch, it was mentioned that those who are categorised as T20 or M20 earners are now feeling the pinch from the impending economic slumps that befall us. The worst are B40 or lower. The minimum wage of RM 1500 per month set by the Federal Government is inadequate to deal with their grocery obligations.
What will happen next? The world economy is the largest contributor to our predicament. Our overreliance on the US dollar, which is not backed up with commodities such as gold and silver, gave the United States authority to print money as they saw fit. Just look at the war in Ukraine. Billions are sent out for the war effort. Economists around the world predicted It is just a matter of time until the US economy collapses. European countries too will experience the same fate; their economic growth has been stunted and backpedalled as those nations were hijacked by environmentalists.
In Sabah, we too have our own demons to deal with, such as water and cable theft, the absence of basic utilities, corruption, mismanagement of state resources, and many more. People are in it to make money or crash and burn for it. It was predicted that from March onwards, there will be diminishing trends of eating out. People will start cooking at home and reduce their monthly expenses and commitments. These adversely affect the food and beverage industry as they need to increase prices on their goods to pay overheads such as salary, rent, and increased cost of goods. On the continuum, those who have money in properties will increase the rent to subsidise their expenses. The outcome is pretty grim, as it will affect other industries too.
As T20 and M20 earners,their spending habits will, to a certain extent, help their local community by purchasing goods and services to keep the economy afloat. The best advice and common sense to do is to hunker down on the incoming storm. You need to take care of yourself and your family before helping others. Does prayer work? Yes, it does. We hope and pray that, despite these trials and tribulations, we will emerge from the storm together. Good luck, everybody.

Related Articles


Latest Articles