13
Nov
15

#Merah169 youths say stung by toll rates hiked by government they defended

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 28 – After genuine belief that their lives could be improved by joining the controversial #Merah169 rally, the sense of pride and optimism among the many poor urban Malay youths who took part in that movement is now fading.

Less than two months after the controversial gathering here in the capital city, ostensibly to uphold Malay dignity in the face of Chinese insults, the angst that drove them to proudly don the movement’s colours has found a new and ironic source – #Merah169’s own backer, Umno.

“My family was upset about the toll hike. My mom only sells kuih and my dad has little income. Can you imagine what the increase will do to our expenses?

“And who did this? It’s the Umno government… it’s a Malay party,” Alif Fikri, who was interviewed by Malay Mail Online in a special report on urban Malay racism, said when met last week.

Like other urban Malay youths who took to the streets on September 16, Alif believed that much of the economic hardship that he and his family endure was caused by the oft-claimed Chinese domination of the economy.

But that view has since changed just three weeks after the writer spoke to him; the catalyst to the reversal of Alif’s anti-Chinese conviction is the rise in living costs brought about by Putrajaya’s announcements of intracity toll rate increases in the Klang Valley.

“My father was infuriated. My mom looked saddened. The increase is definitely going to shoot prices up. How can a government of Umno people say they want to help the Malays, but do this?

“And what did the #Merah169 organisers do? Did they even speak up?” the 20 year-old unemployed graduate lamented.

Two weeks ago, Putrajaya announced that tolls at highways operated by 11 concessionnaires in the Klang Valley would be raised between 20 sen and RM3.

The reception to the increase was naturally hostile as the announcement came amid inflation concerns triggered by ringgit’s sharp drop and a new consumption tax introduced in April.

…more
#Merah169 youths say stung by toll rates hiked by government they defended
October 28, 2015 – MMO

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