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PM: Pricier Singapore tour bus tickets show gov't right to rationalise subsidies

Publish date: Tue, 18 Jun 2024, 01:30 PM

BUKIT MERTAJAM: The move by Singaporean tour companies to raise ticket prices following the rationalisation of diesel subsidies in Malaysia shows the government was right to do so, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

"Two days ago, tourist buses and companies from Singapore raised their prices because they said they no longer received subsidised diesel," he told reporters after a Hari Raya Aidiladha gathering at Masjid Jamek Cherok Tok Kun.

"This means that for decades, they have been enjoying our subsidised diesel. The same goes for fishing boats from Thailand," he said, referring to arrests of foreign fishermen smuggling diesel at the country's borders.

He said the country's subsidised diesel, meant for the poor, had been stolen and the people it was meant for did not benefit.

"How much is this costing the country? As such, the diesel subsidy rationalisation is the right move to prevent our resources from being misused.

"That is very obvious. So those who want to curse us should look at all this.

"If there are any weaknesses, let us know and we can rectify them. In the beginning, there may be some issues. We do not deny that. We are aware that this is not a popular move."

Anwar said those who were affected were given fleet cards.

He said as such, it was reasonable for the government to rationalise subsidies.

It was previously reported that the government was even mulling expanding diesel subsidies for more freight vehicles, school and express busses.

Earlier, in his speech at the gathering, Anwar said leaders must be firm and willing to take risks, citing the example of the diesel subsidy rationalisation.

He also said savings from the rationalisation would go towards the people in the form of cash aid and salary increases for civil servants among others.

Anwar said he did not forget promises the then-opposition made in 2008 to reduce fuel prices if they came to power, though this was not possible now.

Then, the price of fuel in Malaysia was between RM1.50 and RM1.80 per litre while in Saudi Arabia, the price was around 50 sen per litre.

"Now, the price of fuel in Saudi Arabia is RM2.95 per litre while our RON95 is RM2.05 per litre.

"The production cost has increased and as such, we are forced to postpone plans to bring down fuel prices."

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