Parliamentarians are elected to represent the people and to speak the voices of the people in the parliament. However, in many instances the speaker of the august house has turned down motions to debate issues which are pertinent to the society e.g. crime rates, corruption and others.
In another development, Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang’s motion to debate the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) demand for a minimum wage for the private was rejected by the Dewan Rakyat Speaker. Last week MTUC had simultaneously picketed in 14 locations nationwide after its demands for a minimum wage of RM900 and RM300 in cost of living allowance went unheeded by the government.
In the 9th Malaysia Plan, it was evident that the rich is getting richer and the poor is getting poorer. The huge growing income and wealth gap must be narrowed if we want to avert any future social catastrophe. The workers have helped in the country's development. Many companies are able to announce impressive financial results due to the sacrifice of the workers.
It is impossible and unbecoming to avoit debating and discussing the plight of the workers especially those who are earning barely enough to survive. Many were made victims when they have to resort to borrowing from loan sharks.
With the impending privatisation of health care and the rising cost of living, what can RM650 do?
Many reasons were given e.g. rising inflation and less attractive to FDIs if wages were raised. These are not very good reasons. You and I know that. Aren't you and I should be more concerned about a large segment of Malaysians who are not earning enough to live decently?
Parliamentarians cannot avoid debating this issue in the parliament. It should be a people's parliament and not an elitist club.