By: Rosli Mansor Ahmad Razali
The issue of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) recently announcing the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) increase is bound to be taken seriously by many and make an impression.
An increase of 25 basis points to 3.00 per cent is considered by some to be normal and not an issue to be debated.
Some even said it only involved adding a small amount of bank loan payments to those involved.
That statement is the opinion of people who do not put themselves in the place of poor people or people with low and moderate incomes.
The OPR increase is the fifth time since May 2022. In May last year, the OPR rate increased by 2.0 per cent, followed in July by 2.25 per cent, September by 2.50 per cent and in November by 2.75 per cent.
If the monthly instalment of the loan goes up by less than RM100, it is still a big ‘loss’ for most of them.
We are aware that although not everyone is involved in the OPR increase except individuals who make housing, personal or business loans using floating interest rate loans, the number of borrowers is certainly not small.
In this situation, homeowners who are affected by the increase in OPR will absorb the increase by raising their house rent while those who have personal and business loans with this variable rate for trading purposes will increase the price of their sales goods or services.
However, those who are said to be unaffected by the increase in OPR because they do not borrow from the bank will also be affected, and the effect may even be worse.
When talking about the addition of debt instalment payments, of course, it involves the cost of living for the entire individual and family.
The fact is, talking about the country’s economy growing, inflation getting under control or the increase in OPR to maintain the country’s competitiveness, do not give meaning to the people who are increasingly stressed by all the increases in the cost of goods and services.
If people continue lto be burdened with the high cost of living, can the people be proud of the country’s position which is said to be better in world performance indices that do not reflect their real lives?
Indeed, the people are waiting for good news about the issues arising from the minimum wage which is said to be discussed in the Cabinet next month as mentioned by Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim recently.
The cost of living of the people does not need to be politicized. It is a true story. Do a study of people’s salaries is left after only two days of receiving a salary.
There we know what the performance index of our people’s ability is. And surely the people want the government to act, not just words.