Enforcement agencies urged to focus leakages of subsidised goods – PM

Enforcement agencies urged to focus leakages of subsidised goods – PM

KOTA BHARU — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has called on civil servants, especially those in enforcement agencies including in Kelantan, to focus on addressing issues of leakages involving subsidised goods.

He said subsidies should be enjoyed by the poor but sadly most have been ‘usurped’.

“This country is prosperous but there are far too many leaks. Subsidies meant for the poor have been stolen. Cooking oil, diesel subsidies have been arrogated so when will these subsidies ever be enough?

“That’s why the enforcement agencies, including in Kelantan, should pay more attention to checking leakages in the system,“ he said in his special address to Kelantan civil servants at Balai Islam Lundang here today.

Also present were Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob, Public Services Department director-general Datuk Dr Zulkapli Mohamed, Prime Minister’s Department Implementation Coordination Unit (ICU) director-general Datuk Seri Wan Ahmad Dahlan Abdul Aziz and Kelantan state secretary Datuk Nazran Muhammad.

In citing electricity subsidy as an example, Anwar said the subsidy should be enjoyed by ordinary citizens but currently the high-income earners were also getting the subsidy.

“How much is the subsidy for electricity? If left uncontrolled this year it could reach RM30 billion. If this is how much we spend on electricity subsidy, how can we afford to build new schools and universities?.

Elaborating, he said he was against the decision to abolish part of the electricity subsidy and increase the electricity rate because the people are struggling and this would be a burden to them.

“So what choice do we have? We increased the rate for the high income earners only while the rest of the people are not affected, “ he said.

As such Anwar called on civil servants to help explain to the people the policies that have been implemented by the government involving taxes and subsidies.

“At times it is difficult to understand these policies because they are not fully explained and civil servants as the voice of the government that sees to policy implementation, they should know that I do not intend to raise taxes that affect low-income people, this is clear.

“But I am forced to raise taxes on the rich, be it for electricity, water, Haj travel, diesel or petrol,“ he said. -BERNAMA

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