MIRI: The Government has decided against abolishing the sugar subsidy and prefers to intensify a campaign to lower sugar intake by consumers.
Although the subsidy would hit RM1bil this year, Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the Government wanted to take into account the people’s needs.
The subsidy would continue despite the inflating costs of sugar worldwide, he said at the launch of a campaign to cut sugar consumption here.
The price of sugar is fixed at RM1.85 per kg in Sarawak and RM1.45 in Peninsular Malaysia. Without the subsidy, it will cost RM2.45 per kg.
Ismail Sabri also said the rise in diabetes cases in the country was alarming.
Last year, there were 4,224 registered diabetics and 18 recorded deaths in Sarawak.
The people of Sarawak consume 66 tonnes of sugar a day.
Ismail Sabri said that Malaysia, the eighth-highest sugar consumer in the world and fourth-highest in Asia, had 1.2 million diabetics last year.
The effectiveness of the sugar-intake reduction campaign would be reviewed in five months time, he said.