People fear further escalation of prices.
Malaysians, in particular the Bumiputeras from the lower income group in Sabah, are now feeling the adverse impact of the domino effect of the recent sharp increase in the prices of fuel that gripped the nation, according to Kadazan Society Sabah (KSS) Deputy President Jeoffrey Ekol. Generally, he said, people from all walks of life are not only forced to change their travel plans, be it domestic or abroad, they also are reducing their purchases at all shops, especially supermarkets and malls. “There is a real fear amongst the people that the prices of goods may escalate further within the next three months,” said Jeoffrey yesterday. Urging the Government to urgently come up with initiatives to educate the people on how to face the economic crisis, he said: “With the sharp fuel prices increase many people are now confused and worried about their daily life.” Jeoffrey said the Government asserted that economy is strong and that it has planned many development programmes under the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP) including the Sabah Development Corridor, but people are wondering whether these development projects can be implemented as scheduled. “I know some of my developer friends who are now in a dilemma and fear they may not be able to complete their projects. Even now some developers are forced to accept their fate and abandon their projects because of spiralling prices of building materials and labour cost,” he said. a result of the petrol prices increase, Jeoffrey felt that somehow people would be dernoralised in their effort to increase productivity because of the high cost of almost everything now. He feared there is a great possibility that when people have nothing to spend and those who are not prepared to spend as before, the economy will be hit further. The people, especially the Bumiputeras will have a lower standard of living anytime now, according to him.