THE rise in living costs is God’s will, said an Umno leader and Cabinet minister today, when addressing concerns raised by Malaysians on the rising cost of living.
Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Hamzah Zainudin quoted a saying, or hadith, attributed to Prophet Muhammad which states: “Verily, it is God who sets prices, who makes things hard, easy and gives out blessings”.
The hadith also states: “I (The Prophet) hope to meet God in a situation where no one demands from me a cruelty in blood or property.”
The hadith was in response to an person who complained to the Prophet prices of goods were high and had wanted the latter to set prices, Hamzah said.
“However, based on the Islamic principles of justice and concern for the people, the prime minister has agreed not to raise the prices of basic items,” he told delegates at the Umno general assembly.
These items include sugar, flour, cooking oil, rice and cooking gas.
Hamzah, an Umno supreme council member, was responding to delegates who were concerned how the rising cost of living could affect Umno in the 14th general election (GE14).
He added prime minister and party president Najib Razak had decided to give out subsidies worth RM 2 billion a year for basic goods.
“Whereas for fresh produce such as fish, poultry, vegetables and beef the government through the Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Ministry and its agencies are on a crusade against greedy middle men.”
His ministry will amend and strengthen laws such as the Price Control and Anti-Collusion Act 2011 to go after those who hike prices, Hamzah said.
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT