Current Affairs

‘It’s To Save The Country’ — Anwar Defends Decision To Increase Diesel Prices

'We have to make unpopular measures.'
Before midnight on Monday (June 10), thousands of Malaysians scrambled to fill up their vehicles after it was announced that diesel prices would be increased by over 50% from RM2.15 to RM3.35 per litre as part of the government’s targeted subsidies scheme.

Needless to say, not many were happy with the announcement as they believed that it was an additional burden to their already difficult economic situation.

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Anwar: It’s meant to save the country

In light of widespread criticism from the public, prime minister Anwar Ibrahim explained the rationale behind increasing diesel prices, adding that it was an “unpopular” but “necessary” move to stabilise the country’s economy.

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The implementation of targeted subsidies was done to save the country. Who wants to implement targeted subsidies? We must realise that whatever we do, we will be attacked with all sorts of lies and accusations.

“Those wearing songkoks, robes, turbans, but continue to lie when we’ve told them that all prime ministers before this had agreed to implement targeted subsidies but there has been no political will to do so,” he said as quoted by NST during the Finance Ministry’s monthly assembly today.

RM4bil saved from targeted subsidies to be used for cash aids & public transport

Additionally, Anwar said that the RM4 billion projected to be saved yearly by the targeted subsidies for diesel will be used to cover public transportation costs and cash aids for the people like the Sumbangan Tunai Rahmah (STR).

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He also assured that the money will not be used to increase the allowances of ministers or other ministries nor be given to the ultra wealthy and foreigners.

Anwar giving speech on diesel prices
Screenshot via FB/Anwar Ibrahim

“Usually political leaders will think about the negative impact when taking away subsidies or increasing taxes, because politically, it is burdensome.

“But I told the cabinet ministers that we must make a good decision and help the majority of the people,” he said.

Finance Minister II Datuk Seri Amir Hamzah, who was also present at the assembly, had previously announced that a cash aid of RM200 under the Budi Madani programme, where approximately 30,000 individuals are eligible.

Read more about it here:

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