The Penang Hindu Association (PHA) and the Consumers’ Association of Penang (CHA) have released the statement that, compared to last year, Hindu religious products have increased up to 56%, causing a significant economic burden on the Hindus in Malaysia, who are predominantly from the B40 category. As surveyed by the association, prices for items such as jasmine flowers, lotuses, roses, balsamic resin, incense sticks, betel leaves, betel nuts, coconuts, clay prayer lamps, prayer oil, and shikakai have all increased.
This Deepavali season has already seen an increase in prices, which has caused the Indian Hindu community to ration their buying, causing them to have an incredibly budgeted holiday celebration. The upcoming religious observance of Kanda Shashti on November 18 and Karthigai Deepam on November 26, along with the upcoming Thaipusam festival on January 25 next year, will only present the Hindu working class with more prayer items to buy, which will further financially harm them if prices are not controlled and continue to soar without regulation.
Both PHA and CHA have urged the relevant authorities, who have the power to implement change, to place a fixed price for these important items so their prices do not increase during religiously important seasons when many working-class Hindus would be in need of them. The association also stressed the importance of the Domestic Trade and Costs of Living Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Department in monitoring importers, manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers, to prevent the prices of items from being changed without any form of regulation.
Source: ThisaigalTV Malaysia