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Fuel subsidy reforms: Everyone talks, but no one dares to act except Anwar, says minister

Publish date: Wed, 22 May 2024, 04:49 PM

TELUK INTAN: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has proven to be the only leader willing to go out on a limb to implement targeted fuel subsidy reforms, says Nga Kor Ming.

The housing and local government minister said the Madani administration cannot allow the "leakage" of subsidies to foreigners, estimated at RM4 billion annually, to continue.

"It is important that this subsidy targeting programme be implemented to correct past mistakes.

"We do not want such leakages. Every government comes and goes. Everyone talks, but no one dares to act.

"In the end, only Anwar is willing to undertake this crucial reform," Nga told reporters after officiating at an assistance programme for Tamil school students in the Teluk Intan parliamentary constituency at the Sri Vellai Vinayagar Temple Hall, here, today.

Nga handed over RM24,000 to 240 students from 11 schools.

The government's annual subsidy bill for RON95 petrol, diesel, liquefied petroleum gas and electricity was more than RM80 billion, he said.

However, 3.8 million foreigners who do not pay taxes also benefit from these subsidies, he added.

This issue is compounded by the smuggling of diesel that costs the country about RM2 billion a year, said the minister.

"RM2 billion is the equivalent of Perak's budget for two years going into the pockets of syndicates.

"Once this matter is clarified, I believe rational citizens will understand and accept the government's decision," he said.

Yesterday, Anwar announced that the government would adjust the provision of diesel subsidies, with the implementation not involving Sabah and Sarawak.

He said the exemption is given because most families in Sabah and Sarawak use diesel for their vehicles.

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