Rafizi: Govt to share details on subsidy rationalisation mechanism

Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli —LOW LAY PHON/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli said the government will share details on the subsidy rationalisation plan, including its criteria and implications soon.

He emphasised that if the government subsidy rationalisation policy is successful, the savings could be diverted into social assistance, potentially boosting poverty reduction while generating fiscal savings.

"I know people have been asking about when we are going to introduce the mechanism, however, prioritising the harmonisation and preparation for it is necessary for something as big as this," he said.

Rafizi said this during the launch of the World Bank’s 29th Malaysia Economic Monitor, titled ‘Bending Bamboo Shoots: Strengthening Foundation Skills’.

He noted that 11.6 million individuals or 52.6 per cent of Malaysians aged 18 and above have registered on the centralised database hub (PADU).

"This gives us the sufficient bandwidth to finally implement subsidy rationalisation and transition away from the regressive model of blanket subsidies.

"With this level of necessary, granular data, we can minimise both exclusion and inclusion errors, and ensure an equitable distribution of subsidies to those that need them most," he said.

Meanwhile, the World Bank’s Malaysia Economic Monitor report highlighted Malaysia's long-term growth prospects, which depend critically on bolstering its human capital by improving learning outcomes for children.

The report made four recommendations to improve learning outcomes, including ensuring that all children benefit from high-quality preschool education and arrive in primary school ready to learn, as well as improving access to early childhood education and its quality for lower-income households.

"Malaysia also must rigorously measure students’ learning outcomes and benchmark them to international standards while also measuring teachers’ performance thoroughly.

"(It is also important) to provide effective teacher training programmes, as well as policies that consider teachers' experiences and needs, thus ensuring effectiveness and sustainability," it said. - Bernama

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