Fuel subsidy details missing from PM's speech, says Hamzah

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 23 May 2024

PETALING JAYA: The Prime Minister’s national address has done little to alleviate the concerns of the people, who are already feeling the pinch from the rising cost of living, says Opposition leader Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin.

"The elephant in the room is when will the fuel subsidy rationalisation come into effect and what will the government’s mechanism to channel aid to people be?" he said in a statement on Wednesday (May 22).

Hamzah said Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s address on May 21 had only left people more confused and angry from being fed with constant rhetoric.

"The people want to know when fuel prices will go up? How can they apply for aid? This was not spelt out.

"Even after months, the government is implementing the principle of announcing first and thinking later," he added.

Hamzah said the Prime Minister’s address had only strengthened the people’s mistrust towards the government, adding that history has shown that many governments had fallen due to trust deficit against the administration.

"As the Opposition, Perikatan Nasional will continue to voice out and be the power of check and balance for the people and the country," he said.

Anwar announced on Tuesday (May 21) that subsidies for diesel would be withdrawn for the rich and foreigners.

The diesel subsidy would first be rationalised in the peninsula.

The implementation in Sabah and Sarawak would happen later, he said.

He, however, did not indicate the implementation date for the subsidy rationalisation.

To prevent any drastic increase in the cost of goods and services in the peninsula, Anwar said subsidies would be continued for traders using diesel-powered commercial vehicles and for public transportation.

Ten types of public transportation vehicles, including buses and taxis, as well as 23 goods transport vehicles would come under the Subsidised Diesel Control System (SKDS).

Diesel subsidies would also continue for certain categories of fishermen.

The Prime Minister said cash aid would also be given for eligible individuals who own private diesel-powered vehicles such as small traders and farmers, among others.

"Lower- and middle-income groups who use diesel for their businesses will not be affected by the rationalisation," he added.

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