KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 27 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has given assurance the government will continue to look after the industry’s interest although it will change the method of distributing subsidies towards targeted subsidies.
He said the change is to ensure that subsidies, which carry large financial implications for the government at this time, are enjoyed only by those who truly need them.
Nonetheless, Anwar added, the government will provide other amenities and better incentives for companies so that they will not feel burdened after getting used to the subsidies.
“The subsidies need to be targeted, as subsidies such as for oil are also enjoyed by the rich. I have given two weeks for (the National Action Council on Cost of Living) to dissect and look at all the implications as well as hold discussions with the private sector and investors so that they understand the purpose of the subsidies is to ease the burden of the poor.
“The rich or industry should not benefit (from the subsidies), but we will give them other concessions such as benefits and improved incentives for companies so that (the move) will not be a burden to them after having been used to the subsidies,” he told reporters after chairing a 2022 National Action Council on Cost of Living Special Meeting today.
The meeting was attended by government departments and agencies to discuss the cost of living issues affecting the people.
Among the high-ranking government officials present were Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Ali, Bank Negara Malaysia governor Tan Sri Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus, as well as officials from the Department of Statistics, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry, Finance Ministry, Agriculture and Food Industries Ministry, and Energy and Natural Resources Ministry.
In addition, Anwar said he wants the electricity subsidy to be re-examined, as the benefits received by the poor and the rich are almost the same.
“In my view, this is unreasonable,” he said, giving assurance that the electricity subsidy will be continued so that it would not raise concerns among the eligible recipients.
However, Anwar said, the affluent group and big industries should not receive the subsidy, as this would be a huge financial burden to the government.