PM: More details needed for targeted subsidies


THE government is looking for the most suitable mechanism in formulating targeted subsidies for the benefit of the people who are entitled to get it and to avoid any leakages.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (picture) said the mechanism needs more details and it is not something that is easy to be determined.

“The targeted subsidy proposal is not only being analysed now but has been considered by several previous governments. However, it still cannot be implemented because there is no specific mechanism to ensure that no people are left behind.

“For example, do we have to buy sugar or cooking oil using coupons? Could coupons be used or should MyKad be used instead, etc. This is what we are detailing.

“We will soon present the mechanism we are using for this targeted subsidy, here,” he said during the question-and-answer session in the Dewan Rakyat today.

He was responding to an additional question from Opposition leader and Port Dickson MP Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who asked about the government’s action to address the rising cost of living as he claimed the government is taking a conventional approach and is not prepared to make structural changes.

Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri also noted that the government is conducting an audit on the packet cooking oil packaging plant to ensure that the supply of essential materials is not further misappropriated, including being sold to neighbouring countries.

He added that it is among the actions taken starting from the source of the cooking oil being released.

“We audit the packet oil packaging manufacturers, we get the details about the buyers and recipients, and the details of the supplier to avoid irregularities.

“We will see where the cooking oil is sent. We will get the name and check with suppliers on how much they receive because sometimes the oil does not reach the supplier as it is brought from one factory to another,” he noted.

Separately, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said the government is aiming to remove a total of 144,932 heads of households in the country from the hardcore poor category through the Malaysian Family Hardcore Poverty Eradication Programme (BMTKM).

The minister said as of June 30, a total of 144,932 household heads in the hardcore poor category were recorded through e-Kasih data, compared to 44,829 recorded in 2020.

He added that the increase was a follow-up to the use of the poverty line income methodology 2019, as well as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“BMTKM will be implemented in 1,000 localities over a period of three years and six months where Phase 1 was first implemented in June involving 80 localities on a pilot basis.

“The programme was implemented to increase income which includes agriculture, livestock, entrepreneurship, marketing, as well as mind development and motivation projects,” he said in response to a question from Sabak Bernam MP Datuk Mohd Fasiah Mohd Fakeh.

Mohd Fasiah questioned the number of people in this country who are categorised as hardcore poor for the period of 2020 until now and the government’s measures to eradicate hardcore poverty among the people of this country.

At the same time, answering an additional question from Simpang Renggam MP Dr Maszlee Malik regarding the reintroduction of the free breakfast programme for poor students in schools, Mustapa said the matter could be considered by the government.