Effects of fuel subsidy rationalisation is valid public concern, says Muhyiddin

PETALING JAYA: Many Malaysians are concerned whether the cost of living could increase soon due to the rationalisation of diesel subsidies, says Perikatan Nasional chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

According to Muhyiddin, the people were not receptive towards Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s special address last Tuesday (May 21) on the rationalisation of fuel subsidies, beginning with diesel in the peninsula.

"Many are questioning the effects of subsidy rationalisation on the rise in prices of goods and cost of living.

"This is a valid concern," said Muhyiddin in a Facebook post on Sunday (May 26).

Muhyiddin also claimed that many Malaysians on social media are criticising Anwar over previous promises to lower fuel prices.

"Instead, when he was Prime Minister, he withdrew subsidies that could cause prices of goods to increase," said Muhyiddin.

According to Muhyiddin, he had told the Dewan Rakyat in March this year that the government should postpone the implementation of subsidies rationalisation, particularly for diesel and petrol.

"The people are burdened, the rise in prices of goods and the depreciation of the ringgit has a direct effect on the cost of living," said Muhyiddin.

Muhyiddin pointed out that targeted subsidies for electricity and the low-value goods tax were implemented in January this year, followed by the rise in water tariffs in February and the hike in sales and service tax (SST) in March.

Muhyiddin also said it was even disappointing when Anwar did not provide detailed explanations on measures to tackle the rise in the cost of living due to the subsidy rationalisation.

"What about the effects of fuel subsidy rationalisation on the entire supply chain?

"What comprehensive measures will Putrajaya take to address it?

"All of these are not explained in detail by the Prime Minister," said Muhyiddin.

Muhyiddin was also demanding Anwar to explain how the potential RM4bil saved from subsidy rationalisation would be spent by the government.

"How much aid will be increased for the people’s welfare? This was also not explained by the Prime Minister," said Muhyiddin.

In a special address, Anwar announced that the diesel subsidy rationalisation would be implemented in Peninsular Malaysia, involving 10 types of public transport vehicles and 23 types of goods transportation vehicles under the diesel subsidy control system.

Anwar also said cash assistance will be provided to eligible private diesel vehicle owners, including smallholders, farmers and traders.

He added that the subsidy rationalisation would not involve consumers in Sabah and Sarawak.

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