PM gives transport operators a stern warning

PUTRAJAYA: Transport operators who are enjoying diesel subsidies risk having their licences revoked if they raise their prices, warns Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Citing school bus operators as an example, the Prime Minister said authorities would not hesitate revoking their licences if they increase their fares.

“Let me warn you, I don’t know about others, but for me, if you increase the price while you are receiving subsidies, we will revoke your licence.

If not, schoolchildren will be burdened,” he said to thunderous applause from the floor during the Madani Aspiration Gathering at Putrajaya International Convention Centre yesterday.

On Tuesday, Transport Minister Anthony Loke said express and school bus operators should not raise fares following the implementation of targeted diesel subsidies in the peninsula.

The government announced that the price of diesel at all retail stations in Peninsular Malaysia would be RM3.35 per litre, the market price without subsidy, effective June 10.

Anwar said transport operators could register with the Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Ministry if they have yet to receive the fleet card via the Subsidised Diesel Regulation System.

Anwar, who is also Finance Minister, said the fixed price and implementation of targeted diesel subsidy would see the government save RM4bil per year.

“I am not saying that it is the perfect solution, and I am sure there will be some hiccups in the implementation but we will rectify them,” he added.

He revealed that he was advised by certain parties not to proceed with the diesel subsidy rationalisation just before the Sungai Bakap by-election in Penang, and to postpone it until after the by-election.

“They advised me to do it after the by-election. But I said no. I said we must face it,” he said.

“What’s the point of giving (the people) the wrong message?”

The Sungai Bakap by-election will be held on July 6.

Anwar said his predecessors had wanted to review the diesel subsidy but had no political will to do so.

“The previous prime ministers and I agreed to implement the targeted subsidy. They all agreed but were not ready to do it because they knew the problems they would have to face,” he said.

He reiterated that the savings from the targeted diesel subsidy implemented by the unity government would be returned to the people, specifically to support the needs of public transportation and the Rahmah Cash Assistance.

“We are not being unfair to the poor, every extra sen we save, we’ll return (to the people),” he said.

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diesel , bus , operators , subsidies


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