Can't have more babies on RM900 wage, minister told
1:00PM May 30, 2015
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Rohani Abdul Karim has come under fire for asking Malaysians to have more babies at a time when wages are stagnant.
PKR Wanita chief Zuraida Kamaruddin said Rohani should first try to survive with a minimum wage of RM900 instead of a minister's salary.
"PKR Wanita challenges her to live 30 days as a woman who earns the minimum wage of RM900 together with her existing family.
"Then decide at the end of 30 days whether or not she would still try to convince other people to have more children, when there are high living costs and financial worries are on the mind," said Zuraida in a statement today.
On Monday, Rohani told Parliament that families were encouraged to have at least three or four children to address the country's declining birth rate.
She noted that the government cannot force families on the matter as they often have to consider their income when having children.
However, she reminded couples not to be too caught up with trying to have a better quality of life and neglect having children.
'Raise standard of living'
Zuraida rebutted, saying, "Instead of advising families to 'not focus too much on the quality of life', the government should take the responsibility to ensure that Malaysians' standard of living gets better and better."
This, she said, includes stemming corruption to ensure the country's finances are healthy, adding the government can also consider giving half of the Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) cash handout to housewives.
"In fact, since a lot of expenses are incurred for childbirth and the subsequent years for bringing up a child, perhaps the government should even look into subsidising new births with some allocation to the parents," she said.
At present, Zuraida pointed out that the government is doing the reverse, where basic needs for infants are being taxed under the newly implemented Goods and Services Tax (GST) to restore the country's depleting finances.