PN urges govt to delay subsidy rationalisation plans


KUALA LUMPUR: As Malaysians are burdened by the increasing cost of living and tax hikes, the government should delay the implementation of subsidy rationalisation for petrol and diesel, said Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (PN-Pagoh).

The Perikatan Nasional chairman said the two percentage point hike in sales and services tax (SST) will lead to price hikes across the board and most Malaysians will definitely feel a pinch from it.

“If this (subsidy rationalisation plan) is implemented, I’m 100% confident that there will be price hikes for all goods and services and we will see more people suffering.

“I’m requesting the government to study carefully the petrol and diesel subsidy rationalisation plan. Is it appropriate to be implemented when the people are facing price hikes and various tax hikes?” asked Muhyiddin.

“Maybe it’s best for the government to temporarily delay its plans to rationalise petrol and diesel subsidies,” said Muhyiddin during his speech on the motion of thanks on the royal address in Parliament on Tuesday (March 5).

Muhyiddin said he is aware Malaysia is facing a heavy fiscal burden due to huge subsidies.

“But, at the same time, are we willing to see Malaysians suffer while being burdened by various issues on the cost of living and tax hikes,” added Muhyiddin.

Earlier, Muhyiddin spoke about the SST hike from 6% to 8% for taxable services such as electricity consumption above 600 kilowatt per hour.

Muhyiddin also spoke about the expansion of the scope to include logistic services such as warehousing, beyond forwarding agents, couriers and air transport for a SST rate of 6%.

“I’m sure the 6% SST for logistic services will lead to higher operational costs which will cause prices of goods to increase.

“It seems like the government does not take into account the burden of the people with its decision to raise taxes,” added Muhyiddin.

Without naming names, Muhyiddin said a deputy minister had said on Monday (March 4) that food traders should not increase prices because SST hikes do not involve necessities such as food and beverages.

“Does the Madani government not understand the effects of SST hikes towards the entire supply chain that will lead to price hikes across the board and Malaysians will have to bear the hikes,” added Muhyiddin.

Meanwhile, Muhyiddin said that Anwar, as the chairman of the National Action Council on Cost of Living (Naccol), or the Agriculture and Food Security Minister should provide a comprehensive explanation regarding the shortage of local rice supplies.

“If the matter was discussed at Naccol, surely there will be an explanation by the government on this issue, which includes the government’s decision on resolving it.

“Delays by the government to resolve this issue will reflect the government’s incompetence in managing a very important issue of the people,” added Muhyiddin.

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