Subsidy rationalisation to stop fund leaks, says Anwar

BUTTERWORTH: The rise in fares by Singapore travel agencies shows that they have a long-standing reliance on Malaysian diesel subsidies, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

During his speech at the Aidiladha Korban Perdana sacrificial ceremony at Masjid Jamek Cerok Tokun Bawah, Bukit Mertajam, on Tuesday (June 18), Anwar said that there is a need to revise the diesel subsidy system to prevent financial drain from misuse.

"Singaporean tour buses and travel companies plan to hike their prices citing the loss of diesel subsidies. This reveals how our subsidies have been exploited by foreign corporations and Thai fishing boats for years," he remarked.

Anwar pointed out that subsidies had been inadvertently benefiting 3.8 million foreigners, with diesel being taken out to Thailand and used by fishing boats there.

"This is Malaysian taxpayers' money, and it's been used by foreigners reaping the rewards. From 2012 to 2020, the number of cars produced was minimal compared to the soaring diesel consumption due to foreign utilisation," he added.

On Monday (June 17), Anwar confirmed that the government still shoulders around RM7bil in subsidies associated with diesel in Peninsular Malaysia and clarified that subsidies had not been completely removed.

"The rationalisation of the diesel subsidy is designed to manage the subsidies more effectively, curb misuse, and ensure they reach the intended recipients. Our main objective is to halt subsidy leakages and redistribute the savings to the broader populace," he said.

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