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Friday January 24, 2014 MYT 1:34:00 PM
Friday January 24, 2014 MYT 2:29:59 PM
by rashvinjeet s. bedi
PETALING JAYA: Are the poor going to be defined only by the cars they drive? Do they, in future, have to bring their payslips along to petrol stations?
These were among the questions netizens asked of a government proposal to limit subsidised RON95 petrol only to the poor.
Many were critical of this proposal, saying that is was impractical and not feasible.
Read: Ron 95 may only be for the poor
Top of netizens concerns was how were "the poor" were going to be defined.
Facebook user Napsiah Wan Salleh said many households have fallen to a lower income bracket since the Government went on a money-tightening spree.
"I still think whoever advised such moves are not economists or experts in economics. This is a nation, not some private company," she said.
On Thursday, Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said that in a bid to tighten government spending and ensure all subsidies benefitted only deserving Malaysians, the subsidised price of RON 95 fuel would be available only for the poor.
He said a new pricing policy could take effect in May or June this year.
"We want to impose the increase to only those who can afford it. Someone may drive a (Toyota) Alphard or even a Mercedes (Benz) but they still use RON95 petrol," Tengku Adnan said.
Another Facebook user, Sam Foo, asked if he would be considered rich driving a 30-year-old Mercedes, which is worth less than RM10,000.
XR Rui said the minister apparently defined the rich and poor based on their cars.
Alan Sii asked whether they would have to bring their utility bills or payslips along to petrol stations.
Samuel Su said that Malaysia being a petroleum-producing country, all Malaysians had the right to use cheaper petrol.
He also pointed out expensive cars were subjected to high excise taxes. He added that modern cars only needed RON95.
Tommy Yeo said the Government should clean up its own house first by plugging all the loopholes and leakages as always highlighted in the Auditor-General's report.
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Government, RON95 petrol, Malaysian, poor
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