Is fuel being subsidised on the quiet, asks Rafizi

The retail fuel prices have been unchanged for the past month.

KUALA LUMPUR: PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli has accused Prime Minister Najib Razak of re-introducing subsidies for fuel on the quiet as a way to win the election.

He said the retail prices had been unchanged for the past four weeks, with RON95 petrol at RM2.20 per litre, despite rising world crude oil prices.

“It poses many question marks among the public, especially in the wake of rising world crude oil prices.

“Oil prices jumped to US$75.17 per barrel yesterday (an 11% increase in a month).

“Based on the formula used by the government, the price of RON95 petrol tomorrow should be RM2.38 per litre, or 18 sen higher.

“It is strange that the weekly price set by the government has not shown any change and stays at RM2.20 for RON95 for four weeks in a row,” he said.

Rafizi said if the weekly fuel prices were manipulated to gain votes, then it was akin to bullying the rakyat.

He also said that the unchanged fuel price in the past four weeks proved PH was right in stating that fuel prices could be stabilised and reduced through subsidies.

On Oct 30 last year, Treasury secretary-general Irwan Serigar Abdullah had stated that the government was still subsidising the price of fuel although it was supposed to have been abolished in 2014.

He said the subsidies were specifically reserved for periods when fuel prices increased during the weekly price adjustments.

“Although we have implemented the fuel price mechanism, the government is still subsidising fuel prices. We do not want to burden the rakyat too much.

“There are periods when prices go up, so we subsidise it a bit. A few hundred million ringgit a month.

“I do not know if we will do this indefinitely, but at the moment, we are subsidising the prices, though not much.

“Before the subsidy rationalisation plan in 2014, we spent RM22 billion annually,” he said.

 

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