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Who are you trying to defend, Anwar asks Hamzah on targeted diesel subsidy
Published on: Friday, May 24, 2024
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Who are you trying to defend, Anwar asks Hamzah on targeted diesel subsidy
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim (left) asked opposition leader Hamzah Zainudin if Perikatan Nasional will subsidise rich people and foreigners when it comes to power.
PETALING JAYA: Targeted diesel subsidies are aimed at the rich and the foreigners who have to date benefitted from cheap fuel, not to burden the people in general, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said.

Hitting back at a statement on Wednesday by opposition leader Hamzah Zainudin, Anwar said most drivers do not own diesel vehicles so they would not be affected, Bernama reported.

Meanwhile, he said, it would primarily impact taxi drivers, small traders and fishermen, but they will be given exemptions and assistance to cover the rise in prices.

“Why is Hamzah busy opposing it? Who is he trying to defend? We have been stressing that the targeted subsidy is to prevent the rich and foreigners from enjoying it.

“Will Perikatan Nasional subsidise the rich and the foreigners,” he said in a press conference with Malaysian media to mark the end of his working visit to Japan today.

Anwar said large companies are being monitored to curb the increase in the price of goods and services.

On Wednesday, Hamzah, who is also the PN secretary-general, criticised Anwar for not stating exactly when fuel subsidies would commence.

“The elephant in the room that is not explained is: when will the rationalisation of the fuel subsidy be enforced and how will it be channelled to the people?

“The people want to know when will the price of fuel actually go up? After months, this government is still practising the principle of ‘announce first, then think’,” he said.

On Tuesday, Anwar announced that the Cabinet had agreed on targeted diesel subsidies for Peninsular Malaysia.

He said 10 types of public transport vehicles and 23 types of goods transport vehicles will continue to enjoy diesel subsidies.

He also said it was normal for the prime minister to announce the policy and the relevant minister to provide details and follow-up actions later.

“Hamzah used to be a minister, why is he asking such questions? This procedure has been done since before independence,” he said.

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