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Anwar: Early stages of diesel subsidy rationalisation bound to have flaws, my duty is to ensure B40, M40 benefits

Publish date: Tue, 18 Jun 2024, 01:29 PM

SEBERANG PERAI, June 18 — Any subsidy rationalisation is certain to have flaws when it is first rolled out, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today.

Anwar, who is also finance minister, has had to fend off critics for the past week after his government removed a blanket diesel subsidy and introduced a targeted plan that aims to ensure specific demographic groups benefit and prevent the wealthy and smugglers from draining Malaysia’s resources.

“If there are weaknesses, inform us and we will correct it,” he said in a press conference after attending a Korban Perdana event at Masjid Jamek Cherok Tok Kun Bawah here.

He said detractors have been attacking the government for implementing the diesel rationalisation instead of giving constructive criticisms.

He again defended the diesel subsidy rationalisation plan, urging people to look at the bigger issue of subsidies leaking to foreigners and foreign companies when they were meant for deserving Malaysians.

“Yes, the move did affect the people but these subsidies are for the poor, the deserving,” he said.

He said those who deserve to get subsidies can apply for it.

“Tell me, who uses diesel? Fishermen, farmers, public transport, all of them can apply for subsidies,” he said.

In his speech earlier, he said Singaporean tour bus companies have announced a hike in prices due to the diesel subsidy rationalisation in Malaysia.

“This meant that they have been benefiting from our diesel subsidies for decades, and not only them, there were foreign fishermen and others at the country’s borders,” he said.

He said the government has to do this now to save the country’s funds which can be used to benefit the people.

“My duty is to the M40 and B40, so subsidies are only for them,” he said.

He said the government is finding ways to reduce the cost of living for the people.

“If you ask me whether the people are affected by costs, I agree,” he said.

He said research revealed that B40 families consume eggs the most, up to four eggs a day.

“That’s why we met with the companies to discuss the eggs prices and asked them to cut down their profits and lower the prices of eggs to reduce the burden of the people,” he said.

“If there are ways, we are ready to look into it too,” he said.

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