Malaysian economists have shifted their focus on the food price fiasco after the issue was amplified on social media and received criticism from the Opposition leaders.
The analytics proves this as the food price hike emerged as the monthly media focus for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) topic.
Hence, this shows that the media has not only been focusing on the rising food prices and the Opposition’s criticism of the government’s efforts but also relating it to inflation.
The influencers list for the CPI topic shows that it is mainly concentrated with economists although the narration is dominated by chief statistician Dr. Mohd Uzir Mahidin who had announced the CPI’s 2.9% increase.
Previously, Dr. Mohd Uzir attributed the increased CPI to rising fuel prices and the discontinuation of electricity discounts in September 2021.
However, the statements from the economists that appeared in the CPI topic’s influencers list mostly stated about the middlemen in the food supply chain and reducing the dependence on imported goods.
President of the Consumers Association of Subang and Shah Alam (CASSA) Jacob George has also highlighted the rising cost of living and concerns over the stagnant minimum wage.
Meanwhile, the trending phrases of the Malaysia Wage topic in the past month shows that food prices have also been associated in the media.
Hence, the food price hike issue has escalated from social media and attacks from the Opposition leaders to concerns from economists relating to more economic factors such as inflation, cost of living and employment.