'Who is he trying to defend?' Anwar raps Hamzah over targeted subsidy

TOKYO: The implementation of the targeted diesel subsidy is not intended to burden the people in general but rather aimed at the rich and the foreigners who have long benefited from the diesel subsidy, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

He said diesel is not used by the majority of people and those affected, such as taxi drivers, small traders, and fishermen, all are given exemptions and assistance to cover the cost increase.

"So, why is he (Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin) busy opposing it? Who is he trying to defend? We have been stressing that the targeted subsidy is to prevent the rich and foreigners from enjoying it.

"Will Perikatan Nasional subsidise the rich and the foreigners (if they come to power)? Answer that first. That is what will upset the people,” Anwar said as he hit back at Hamzah's statement criticising the targeted subsidy during a press conference with Malaysian media to mark the end of his working visit to Japan on Friday (May 24).

The Prime Minister explained that large companies are being monitored to curb the increase in the price of goods and services.

ALSO READ: PM announces rationalisation of diesel subsidy

Recently, the media reported that Hamzah claimed Anwar's announcement on the implementation of the targeted diesel subsidy has caused public unease and has failed to address the ‘elephant in the room’ on when the subsidies would be removed.

Anwar said that it was normal for the prime minister to announce the policy and the relevant minister to provide details and follow-up actions later.

"He (Hamzah) used to be a minister, why is he asking such questions? This procedure has been done since before independence,” said the Prime Minister.

Last Tuesday (May 21), Anwar announced that the Cabinet had agreed to implement a targeted diesel subsidy involving consumers in Peninsular Malaysia and that it would involve 10 types of public transport vehicles and 23 types of goods transportation vehicles under the diesel subsidy control system.

He said that the targeted subsidy would not involve consumers in Sabah and Sarawak as it was used in nearly every family’s vehicle in both states. - Bernama

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