Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim highlighted the inadequacy of the current subsidy system, where the intended beneficiaries often miss out.
It’s a well-established practice that subsidies represent a form of government assistance, primarily aimed at helping Malaysia’s less fortunate citizens.
Presently, essential items like rice, cooking oil, and petrol enjoy subsidized rates accessible to every citizen, regardless of their financial status.
However, the system faces challenges, including the affluent and foreigners benefiting from petrol subsidies. Consequently, the government is contemplating a revision of subsidy distribution to ensure that those genuinely in need are the recipients.
Subsidies Serve the Underprivileged
According to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, government subsidies exist to support those struggling with the rising cost of living.
In a Facebook post, he emphasised that the existing subsidy framework has grown outdated, leading to affluent individuals, including owners of luxury vehicles, taking advantage of petrol subsidies initially meant for low-income citizens.
“The outdated subsidy system has led to the wealthy, who own large vehicles, also benefiting from fuel subsidies that should only go to the poor.
“The Unity Government aims to rectify this disparity through subsidy rationalization, ensuring that the majority of struggling citizens continue to receive assistance,” he stated.
Ensuring Subsidies Reach Their Target
Furthermore, Anwar is determined to ensure that subsidy assistance remains accessible to those genuinely in need, with wealthier individuals being subject to payments commensurate with their financial capacity.
“Currently, who receives fuel subsidies? The public does, alright. Professors, lecturers receive them, executives receive them, and even wealthy business owners receive fuel subsidies.
“However, people who drive Rolls Royces, large Mercedes, and wealthy business owners all receive fuel subsidies as well.
“So, we plan how everyone gets subsidies without disruption. But for the wealthy, they should pay. That’s my policy approach. People may get angry for a moment, but that’s okay; I will explain.
“How many foreigners are in our country? Three million, four million. They come from Thailand, buy oil, and take it back to Thailand; people from Singapore come, buy oil, and take it back to Singapore. Therefore, we need to consider how to protect the rights of citizens regarding subsidies for citizens but not for the wealthy,” he further elucidated.
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