On Saturday, 19 November, millions of workers will have the opportunity to decide on a government of their choice.
The reality is that whomever the millions of workers cast their votes for will determine their future.
Faced with the rising cost of basic necessities, such as bread, fish, vegetables and even eggs, and the failure of the current Barisan Nasional-backed prime minister to address such increases, the workers must remember to cast their votes for change.
We, as workers, should not forget that our salaries are not enough to meet our daily expenses simply because the current government has failed to uplift our wages.
A minimum wage of RM1,500 is, as we know, inadequate to meet our monthly expenses. On this issue alone, workers need to show their disappointment with the current government by voting for the opposition.
Our votes must be a collective vote of protest against the current government. A government that has failed to address the basic economic needs of the working population does not deserve our votes.
As workers, we are also faced with the problem of affordable housing – even ‘affordable homes’ are priced in the hundreds of thousands of ringgit! Once, again, it is because private sector enterprises are allowed to profit at the expense of us, the taxpayers.
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Our public healthcare system is under duress. Even cataract surgery needs months of waiting. As workers who have no other option but to depend on the public healthcare system, we are at the losing end even with a basic necessity like healthcare.
To the millions of workers: please come out to vote for change in the hope that an alternative government will, as promised, bring about meaningful transformation of existing socioeconomic conditions.
We, the millions of workers, can make a difference, come 19 November.
K Veeriah is a veteran trade unionist based in Bukit Mertajam, Penang