Friday, May 20, 2011

Stop "Fat Cats" Subsidies First

Muhyiddin must not pull the wool over the people’s eyes by cutting simple subsidies for the man-on-the-street but refuses to take action against large subsidies feed fat crony companies.

There is little to dispute on the fact that subsidies cannot last forever and our Malaysian subsidy system needs to be restructured. According to our Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, the subsidy burden is expected to increase from RM10.32 billion to RM20.58 billion this year, of which approximately RM18 billion goes to fuel-related subsidy.

As a result, Muhyiddin has hinted strongly that retail fuel prices, particularly that for RON95 used by majority of Malaysians, will be raised sooner rather than later. This comes hot on the heels of the most recent 20 sen increase in sugar prices, the 4th such increase in 18 months, or a total of 58.6% increase over the period.

However, what the Deputy Prime Minister has failed to explain to the Malaysia public is the overwhelming bulk of the projected RM18 billion of fuel-related subsidies is given to companies with lucrative concessions earning billions of ringgit in profits annually.
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