Fuel subsidy: Why is the government so calculative?

SHAH ALAM, 29 Oct: The move by the Barisan Nasional (BN) government to give petrol subsidies according to an individual’s salary is seen as unfair and is seen as being too ‘calculative’ with the people.

The National University of Malaysia (UKM) lecturer in Political Science, Assoc Professor Datuk Dr Mohammad Agus Yusoff, said that it is not fair to state that most individuals who are enjoying the petrol subsidy consist of those with luxury cars.


He said that this is because based on observation; most of Malaysians have moderate incomes and use Malaysian-made cars for daily activities.

“It is not fair to say that the group that enjoys a high rate of fuel subsidy are those with big cars.

“If those enjoying the fuel subsidy are those with big cars, why should they be punished? They have paid taxes.

“What I am confused about is that the government does not like people who like subsidies, but they give selected subsidies according to the income. Is that not also subsidies?” he wrote on Facebook.


He expresses concern that this method of giving the petrol subsidy will be followed by an increase in the price of goods, which is still failed to be fully controlled by the government.

He said that if the granting of the subsidy affects the national income, then the central government is advised to float the price of fuel according to the world market price.

“What I am worried about is by giving the fuel subsidy ‘according to an individual’s income’; this is an increase in the price of goods.

“If the price of fuel goes by my 20 cents, it still can be arranged by being prudent in using cars, but what about the increase in price of goods? Can that be controlled?” he asked.

Mohammad Agus said that the best move that the government can make is by eliminating the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) and use the funds to improve the infrastructure in the country.

“The collected money can be used immediately to improve infrastructure facilities in the country. Being punished is like a congested road,” he said.

Only those who have incomes of less that RM5000 a month and use a car that is less than 2,000 cc are qualified to enjoy buying subsidised fuel.

Under this new approach which will be implemented in September, owners of vehicles who have monthly incomes between RM5,000 to RM10,000 will be allocated a petrol quota for subsidised RON95 and diesel of 300 litres.

As soon as the 300 litres quota is finished, the owners of the vehicles have no choice but to buy the fuel at the market price.

For those with incomes of RM10,000 and above, it is expected that they will not be allowed to buy petrol or diesel at the subsidised price.


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