Govt move on diesel bold, says Pasir Gudang MP

JOHOR BARU: The government’s move to implement targeted subsidies is a bold decision which proves that populist politics are not being practiced, says Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Karim.

Hassan said the decision was made despite the risk of losing support from the people, which could affect the results of the next general election.

“The move by the Prime Minister and the government on this matter shows that they are bold and responsible. It proves that the leaders we have now do not practice populist politics," he said.

Hassan then said that the Prime Minister is aware of the huge risk involved in implementing the targeted subsidies, starting with diesel.

“If the government fails to manage this strict policy, they could lose the people’s support, and this could also affect the results of the 16th general election in the future,” he added in a statement here on Thursday (May 23).

Hassan said that the decision was made after very careful consideration and was not rushed.

“The Cabinet has yet to decide the targeted subsidies for RON 95 petrol, indicating that they are addressing one thing at a time without rushing,” he said, adding that it also only involves those in the Peninsula as a start.

Hassan said implementing the targeted subsidies would only affect those in the T20 category who earn a minimum of RM15,000 a month.

"As long as the people in the B40 and M40 groups are not affected by this policy and the government could improve aid allocation for the people, including Sumbangan Asas Rahmah and Sumbangan Tunai Rahmah, I will support this government decision," he said.

He said that the RM4bil the country saved from the policy could be used to implement initiatives to help those at the bottom.

In announcing the fuel subsidy rationalisation in a national address on Tuesday (May 21), Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said subsidies for diesel will be withdrawn for the rich and foreigners.

He said the diesel subsidy will first be rationalised in the peninsula, and its implementation in Sabah and Sarawak will happen later.

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

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