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Groaning under a tsunami of price hikes

Lower and middle-income earners will have to bite the bullet especially hard, with household debt already high

Kuala Lumpur

2014 is set to be the year of living frugally for many Malaysians.

Few can remember when so many price increases were implemented in so short a time. The "tsunami of price hikes" is expected to place a significant strain on consumers and businesses, although the Malaysian government maintains that short-term pain is necessary for the longer-term good.

Critics, however, see Putrajaya as the profligate consumer that has maxed out on its credit card and overdraft facilities and now expects the public to shoulder the burden.

How the price increases will impact consumer demand, which has helped boost growth in years past, remains to be seen. But consumers and businesses are undoubtedly approaching...

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