Implementation date, mechanism for targeted diesel subsidy out soon

KUALA LUMPUR — The implementation mechanism and date of targeted diesel subsidy will be announced in the near future, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Anwar said the matter will be explained by Finance Minister II Datuk Seri Amir Hamzah Azizan because he has already given an overview of it and only follow-up action is needed now.

“Some people ask why? Not all Prime Ministers do it. I give the big picture and framework, then there will be follow-up action.

“…because I distinguish between policy matters and details,” he said in a press conference after attending the MADANI Postnormal Times Exhibition here, today.

On Tuesday, the Cabinet agreed to implement targeted diesel subsidy, thereby saving the government around RM4 billion a year.

In the meantime, Anwar also criticised the statement of Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin who cynically invited the Prime Minister to go down to the wet markets to check the increase in the prices of goods that burden the people.

“My work every week involves going to the small shop, to the market and every time before the Friday prayer I ask (the people) the price. I think he is avoiding the answer that the party is supported by big businessmen,” he said.

Meanwhile, when asked about the candidate for the Election Commission (EC) chairman, Anwar who is also the Minister of Finance said that the candidate has already been identified.

“Already… we have followed the process and it must be approved by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong,” he said, adding that the candidate selection process does not require the government to consult with the existing EC deputy chairman.

The commission’s chairman post has been vacant since the retirement of Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Salleh on May 9.

Touching on the appointment of the new Speaker of Dewan Negara to replace Senator Datuk Mutang Tagal who died on May 10, Anwar said the matter would be discussed tomorrow when he is in Sarawak.

“At the initial stage we will discuss with the party leadership, then with the (Sarawak state government) leadership because the two Speakers (previously) quit before the end of their terms. So I will discuss this tomorrow when I go to Sarawak,” he said.

Meanwhile, in response to the issue of specialists’ training or parallel pathway programme which has prolonged, Anwar said the matter will be discussed in the Cabinet meeting this Wednesday. — BERNAMA