PEKAN, Oct 3 – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the move by the government to reduce the fuel subsidy was to look after the interest of the people and country in the long-run. He said although the move was unpopular, it had to be carried out as the fuel subsidy borne by the government each year was too high. In fact, he said, if the move had not been taken, it would have an impact on the national economy due to the reduced revenue for national expenditure.
“Last year, the subsidy for fuel, petrol, LPG and diesel amounted to RM24 billion which was not a small amount. “If we don’t reduce the amount, it could result in insufficient revenue to pay for government expenditure,” he said when speaking at the presentation of cattle for sacrifice for the Pekan parliamentary constituency in conjunction with Hari Raya Aidiladha, here today.
At the event which was also attended by Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob, Najib who is also the Member of Parliament for Pekan, had given out 505 heads of cattle for the whole parliamentary constituency. At the same time, he said, the government would announce various measures to assist the rakyat in facing the problem of the reduced fuel subsidy in tabling the budget on Oct 10.
Najib, who is also the Finance Minister, said this included the giving out of targeted subsidy directly to the people such as schooling aid, 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) and other assistance to be announced later. “In the next budget, we will certainly think of how to assist the people so that the aid reaches the people directly and reduce the leakage so that the economy will be stronger, with higher economic growth and more revenue for distribution to the people,” he said.
Najib said the government would also review the granting of bulk subsidy for fuel in view of the leakage in the distribution of fuel to the people in the country. “This is because the fuel subsidy currently is also enjoyed by the richer group, tourists, foreign workers and illegal foreign workers. “In fact, in the Pengkalan Kubor by-election recently, I found that a lot of our diesel had been smuggled out from Rantau Panjang to be sold across (in Thailand),” he said.
Meanwhile, Najib reminded the people to make the element of sacrifice as fundamental in achieving success. “If we are willing to sacrifice with sincerity without expecting any return, InsyaAllah (God willing) we will be amply rewarded,” he said.