Malaysia: Fuel subsidy reforms out this week, says Daim

  • The Council of Eminent Persons will present its proposal on fuel subsidy reforms to Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad this week.
  • Led by the two-time finance minister Daim Zainuddin, the council has so far carried out more than 200 meetings with various heads of agencies, companies and individuals since its inception in May 18, studying various issues particularly on fuel subsidy, toll charges and removal of the goods and services tax.
  • He said the council has had numerous meetings with stakeholders on the best way to reform the fuel subsidy.
  • He, however, declined to elaborate further but said it would be a targeted subsidy. Daim, who was once the economic adviser to the government, said the council was also fully aware of the financial impact on the market from abolishing toll charges.
  • “While we want to reduce the toll for the rakyat, we are also aware of the impact on the market if tolls are abolished immediately.”
  • The council is currently looking at various options on how to deal with this issue and is guided on the principle that the decision made will be phased and structured. This will ensure that the end outcome will be fair to all stakeholders.
  • “So far, the feedback from the rakyat is very encouraging. No need to abolish toll immediately, I mean they understand. They know it was mentioned in the manifesto, now that reality has come in, they understand the financial position and the problem.
  • “We will try to do in such a way that it balances everything. The market will be happy, the owners are happy and the consumers are happy,” he said. The toll abolition was one of Pakatan Harapan’s election promises in the run-up to the 14th general election.

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