PRICE HIKES BY S’PORE TOUR AGENCIES SHOW DIESEL SUBSIDY RATIONALISATION NEEDS TO CONTINUE – PM ANWAR

BUKIT MERTAJAM, The increase in fares by Singapore travel agencies and tour buses, along with the busting of diesel-smuggling syndicates at the border, proves that the diesel subsidy rationalisation initiative should be continued, said Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. The Prime Minister said targeted diesel subsidies are critical to saving the country financially by stemming fund leakages caused by unscrupulous parties. "All tour buses and travel companies from Singapore want to raise prices because they say they can't get diesel subsidies, which means for decades, our subsidies went to Singapore companies, to Thai fishing boats. A lot of funds were leaking. "Subsidies were benefiting 3.8 million foreigners, (diesel) taken out to Thailand and sent to Thai fishing boats … Malaysian taxpayers are paying, but foreigners are reaping the benefits," he said at the ''Majlis Korban Perdana with the Prime Minister'' at Masjid Jamek Cherok Tok Kun Bawah here today. Anwar, who is also the Finance Minister, noted that the n umber of cars produced from 2012 to 2020 was small compared to the skyrocketing increase in diesel consumption because the fuel was enjoyed by foreigners. The Prime Minister, however, did not deny that there are several issues following the diesel subsidy rationalisation, which is being implemented for the first time in Malaysia, but he promised to rectify these weaknesses. Anwar said he is open to receiving any suggestions regarding the implementation of targeted diesel subsidies. "I am open-minded; if there are any weaknesses, let us know, and we will fix them. This is an initial trial that naturally faces some problems; I do not deny that, but to criticise as if the government is cruel, that is unacceptable," he said. He said the previous government and leaders also agreed with diesel subsidy rationalisation because it is the right step to prevent subsidy wastage and return savings to the people. Touching on the reduction of retail prices for eggs, Anwar said it is an initial step to return the saving s from subsidy rationalisation to the people because eggs are most commonly consumed by families. "We conducted a study and found that families use eggs the most, with simple and poor families consuming four eggs a day. Therefore, we discussed with companies and asked them to lower the price of eggs a bit, ensuring they wouldn't incur losses. And if there are other ways, I will find them," he said. Yesterday, Anwar announced that the retail price of grade A, B and C eggs has been reduced by three sen each nationwide. Earlier today, Anwar and his wife, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, spent time with the local community and distributed Aidiladha sacrificial meat to those in need. Source: BERNAMA News Agency