AMY asked me a simple question this mornng - will the Government extend the age of the country's workforce to 58? Of course I can't answer her question, but she's not alone in trying to get an answer.
Many employees are wondering whether they can continue to work until 58 years old because of one simple reason - they need the wages to survive in today's very trying times. Amy's friends said today's cost of living is so high that they may have to work so many extra hours to earn some overtime to make ends meet.
A food caterer friend of mine said he's having a torrid time trying to survive. He said he could get ample supply of vegetables, fish, chicken and other items when he goes to the wholesale market a year ago. Today, this is no longer possible.
And he can't increase prices when he takes orders for kenduri, parties and get-togethers. His profit margin has been greatly reduced. He still takes orders just to tell the market that's he's still in business. Barely just, he said.
Life is very tough for many workers, and more so for self-employed people. A taxi driver I met a few days ago said he had to borrow money to change two tyres of his taxi after it failed the regular inspection at Puspakom. This never happened before, he said.
Many workers don't believe news reports that say the economy is resilient, healthy and continue to grow. Forecast that the country's economy continue to grow at whatever per cent means nothing to the majority of workers, especially the blue-collared ones.
Are you going to take part in the Workers Day celebrations, I asked Amy. "Sudahlah...tidor lagi baik. Kalau pergi, kena keluar belanja juga - minyak, parking, tol. Duduk rumah lagi baik," she said.
Hearing this, I didn't wish her Happy Workers' Day. Maybe it's better just to stay home rather than listening to empty rhetorics from union leaders and employers. And that includes the Government as well.