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Only the rich affected by subsidy cuts, says PM

Publish date: Tue, 06 Jun 2023, 04:17 PM

The move to cut government subsidies only affects the rich or T20 group and that, too, is at a minimal rate, said Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.

"The subsidy reduction only involves the rich T20 households. Can't they do with fewer subsidies?

"I have to take away some from those well off in order not to burden the poor," he said during the Minister's Question Time at the Dewan Rakyat sitting today.

He said this in reply to a supplementary question from Radzi Jidin (PN-Putrajaya) on the decision to reduce government subsidies in solving the problems faced by the people following the fall of the ringgit.

Citing the electricity subsidy as an example, the Prime Minister said 90% of the people were not affected by the reduction, as it only has an impact on the T20 households with their big houses.
He said the government has also not increased electricity tariffs for small and medium industries or SMEs as well as the food industry.

"The cut in electricity subsidy was not aimed at the masses (but) only the wealthy in the T20 group. So why do we have to make this a political issue? Who are we championing?

"Furthermore, in terms of the Haj subsidy, the price hike did not affect the people as the increase only involved the T20 group.

"If you are already filthy rich, you don’t expect Tabung Haji to subsidise your trip to Makkah. Some have complained, but I have to be firm on that," he said.

On May 22, Anwar, who is also the finance minister, told the high-income group (T20) in the country that they would not be given electricity subsidies and Haj financial assistance. 

He said the main database or PADU would be used to manage and coordinate the distribution of subsidies to eligible groups.

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