Malaysians are confronted with three issues that impacts on the quality of life and standard of living of the various key sectors of the population: youths stuck with spiraling debt, workers facing stagnant wages, and patients confronted with a rising cost of healthcare.
At the heart of these problems is the widening inequality in the country, one that is skewed in favour of the rich.
At present, at least 11 youths go bankrupt daily because they are unable to pay their education and housing loans. 57% of parents go into debt to pay for their children’s education loans. The loans are subsequently transferred to their children who are burdened with debt even before they secure employment.
Also, youths are unable to buy or rent houses in the Klang Valley today due to exorbitant prices.
The problem of debt confronts the rakyat especially people who are sick with life threatening disease such as Hepatitis C, Cancer etc. 51% of people with cancer face economic hardship after twelve months into treatment as a result of high medicine and treatment costs.
Cancer has now become the third biggest killer in Malaysia as 100,000 Malaysians suffer from the disease at any given time.
And workers in Malaysia are undergoing their own set of challenges. Workers face job insecurity in the work place. Low and stagnant wages together with changing nature of employment through contracts and outsourcing has made workers and their unions vulnerable and weak.
The government has mooted a safety net plan for workers in the form of the Employment Insurance System (EIS). Various stakeholders have had their say on this after the government tabled this in Parliament and pulled back the proposal after objections from some quarters.
However, a worker’s ability to move from the bottom 40% (B40) into the medium 40% (M40) is nearly impossible as wages remain stagnant. The Goods & Services Tax (GST) has proven to be bane to workers at a time when the government lauds the regressive tax as the savior of the Malaysian economy.
The problems are clear. And as we approach the GE 14, there is a need to develop a narrative that addresses peoples’ issues. We need to envision the future, a way forward that will help represent the various vulnerable constituencies.
What is the future we envision for ourselves and for the generation to come?
What are the solutions or the way forward – for youths, workers and patients?
This forum seeks to chart the path to our future, banking on the many ideas each of us have, tapping on our various expertise and interests.
DATE AND TIME
Sat, September 30, 2017
2:00 PM – 6:00 PM Malaysia Time Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur) Time
Connexion Conference & Event Centre – CCEC
No 7 Jalan Kerinchi
Bangsar South City, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur 59200
Source : https://www.eventbrite.com/e/envisioning-our-future-malaysia-beyond-ge14-tickets-38038967576