Muhyiddin urged government to postpone fuel subsidies rationalisation

FORMER prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (picture) has urged the government to postpone its plan for the rationalisation of petrol and diesel subsidies due to the people still struggling with rising prices and taxes.

Muhyiddin (PN-Pagoh) said the plan to expand the rationalisation programme for these products should be carefully reviewed.

“I understand the fiscal burden borne by our country due to the large amount of subsidies.

“But at the same time, are we willing to see the people suffer when they are already burdened with various issues related to the cost of living and tax increases?” he said when debating the Royal Address in the Dewan Rakyat today.

Muhyiddin said if the plan to rationalise these subsidies was implemented, it would lead to an increase in the prices of all goods and services and further exacerbate the people’s hardships.

The rationalisation of diesel subsidies was announced during the tabling of the 2024 budget last year.

Previously, it was reported that the rationalisation plan, which will take place this year, would help the government save up to 17.5% of its petrol and diesel subsidy expenditure.

On the service tax hike, Muhyiddin asked if the government was aware that it could affect the overall supply chain, ultimately leading to an increase in price for almost all goods.

“It seems as if the burden is piled onto the people without any comprehensive social safety net strategy,” he said.

The service tax rate was raised from 6% to 8% on March 1, with revised rates applied to selected services including karaoke centres.

Meanwhile, the 6% rate has been retained for food and beverages, telecommunications, and parking services — TMR

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