Quit flip-flopping on sugar policies, Dr Wee tells govt

KUALA LUMPUR: The government is urged to quit introducing flip-flop policies, especially in providing subsidies to sugar companies.

Ayer Hitam MP Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong, when debating the motion of thanks on the royal address, expressed disappointment as there was no consistency in the implementation of the policies concerning sugar tax and subsidy.

He said MSM Malaysia Holdings Berhad was granted a sugar subsidy in November 2023, and the matter should have been raised in Parliament.

“For eight years consecutively, MSM faced losses but in November last year, a sugar subsidy was given without prior study.

“Based on my calculations, the RM1 per kg sugar or RM1,000 per tonne of sugar subsidy granted to them will add to the government’s financial burden of around RM500mil to RM600mil annually,” he told the Lower House on Wednesday (Feb 28).

Dr Wee also questioned which government policy is consistent since the administration also introduced a tax against sugary drinks at 40 sen to 50 sen per litre starting Jan 1.

Referring to a song lyric by Indonesian singer, Arie Wibowo, Madu dan Racun (honey and poison), Dr Wee sang “Madu di tangan kananmu, Racun di tangan kirimu, Aku tak tahu mana yang akan kau berikan padaku,” (honey on your right hand and poison on your left. I don’t know which you will give to me).

“It is clear that we do not know what we want, as there is a tax on sugar but there is a subsidy. I request the government to review the matter as the World Health Organisation never recommended any subsidy given to sugar companies.

“In fact, during the Barisan Nasional administration in 2013, we did not provide any subsidy to sugar companies including the Pakatan Harapan government in 2019. This is what we need to consider again,” he added.

In a separate matter, Dr Wee also requested for the government to look into the lack of houses of worship being registered under the Registrar of Societies (RoS) for the past year.

“I hope it is a temporary issue because it will lead to more unregistered houses of worship cropping up. We do not have Jakim (Islamic Development Department) to monitor such an issue so hopefully this issue will be resolved accordingly,” he added.

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Sugar , Subsidy , Tax , Dr Wee Ka Siong , Parliament


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