The government still has sufficient funds to continue to provide fuel subsidy to the people despite rising global crude oil prices, said Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz.
According to Bernama, the finance minister said the government still has enough money and will continue to support the people with these subsidies to protect the people’s livelihoods, especially that of the vulnerable groups.
However, Tengku Zafrul said the government will continue to monitor global oil prices to see the long-term plan where one of the measures is to implement a targeted subsidy.
“As what the government has said before, the amount of the subsidies for this year will reach RM70 billion, meaning the fuel subsidy will reach RM30 billion. We have made a projection based on the Brent oil price. Last month (May), it (fuel subsidy) already reached RM5 billion a month.”
“However, at this moment the government will continue to allocate for the subsidy. We are still able to help the people through the subsidy, so we will continue,” he said.
Nonetheless, he said the government is still studying the medium and long term measures to implement a more targeted subsidy, reported NST.
“We see this as necessary as for every RM1 subsidy provided by the government, 53 sen goes to the upper class or the T20,” he said.
Meanwhile, he also hinted that the government needs more help from Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) in the form of additional dividends, which were not needed for now.
Tengku Zafrul explained that the government’s revenue has been increasing with the rising prices of commodities.
“The government’s revenue has also increased although the increase is not as high as the increase in subsidies. We will continue to monitor as this is not only a phenomenon in Malaysia but also at the global level,” he added.
On 8 June, the finance ministry announced that the price of RON97 will go up by 2 sen to RM4.72 per litre, while the price of RON95 remained unchanged and will continue to retail at RM2.05 per litre. The price of diesel, too, remains at RM2.15 a litre.
These prices will be effective from midnight until June 15.
The ministry said the government would continue to monitor trends in global crude oil prices and take appropriate measures to ensure the continued welfare and well-being of the people.
“To protect the consumers from global oil price increases, the government will maintain the ceiling price of RON95 at RM2.05 per litre and diesel at RM2.15 per litre, even though the market price (derived from the automatic pricing mechanism) for RON95 and diesel has increased beyond the current ceiling price,” it said in a statement.