Anwar cites Singapore bus fare hike to defend diesel subsidy cut


Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim says the diesel subsidy rationalisation aims to ensure more efficient management of subsidies, prevent misuse and ensure they reach appropriate groups. – The Vibes file pic, June 18, 2024.

THE increase in fares by Singapore travel agencies and tour buses, and the busting of diesel-smuggling syndicates at the border, proves that the diesel subsidy rationalisation should continue, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

He said two days ago, tourist buses and companies from Singapore raised their prices because they said they no longer received subsidised diesel.

“All tour buses and travel companies from Singapore want to raise prices because they say they can’t get diesel subsidies.

“This shows that for decades, our subsidies went to Singapore companies, to Thai fishing boats. A lot of funds were leaking,” he told reporters after a Hari Raya Aidiladha gathering at Masjid Jamek Cherok Tok Kun in Bukit Mertajam.

Anwar, who is also finance minister, said subsidies were benefiting 3.8 million foreigners, and diesel was taken out to Thailand and sent to Thai fishing boats.

“If there are any weaknesses, let us know and we can rectify them. In the beginning, there may be some issues. We do not deny that. We are aware that this is not a popular move.”

“Malaysian taxpayers were paying, but foreigners were reaping the benefits,” he said, adding that the country’s subsidised diesel, meant for the poor, had been stolen and the people it was meant for did not benefit.

Anwar said the diesel subsidy rationalisation aims to ensure more efficient management of subsidies, prevent misuse and ensure they reach appropriate groups.

“The main goal of the rationalisation policy is to ensure that subsidy wastage does not continue and for the savings to be returned to the wider population,” he said. – June 18, 2024


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