SHAH ALAM: Amanah vice-president and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mujahid Yusof Rawa today defended the petrol subsidy programme that will come into effect in 2020, after the programme drew criticism from a Pahang delegate yesterday.
“He said our petrol subsidy programme was a problem. But in our manifesto, one of the subsidies that we wanted to introduce was targeted subsidies. Targeted — that is our promise.”
He added that the government will save almost RM10 billion by implementing targeted subsidies.
“If we have subsidies for all, we will lose money.”
He added that the targeted scheme will benefit eight million people, of which five million would be those in the middle class (M40).
“Where does it say that we don’t safeguard the M40 in all of this?” he said during his rounding-up speech on the final day of the Amanah National Convention 2019.
He also listed other government policies aimed at the M40, such as Employees Provident Fund withdrawals for in-vitro fertlisation (IVF) treatment and income tax rebates for spending on serious diseases.
“So I ask that he (Pahang delegate) retract his comments because we need to defend the budget under the Pakatan Harapan government.”
Yesterday, Mohd Fadzil Mohd Ramly, an Amanah representative from Pahang, slammed “unneeded changes”, including the petrol subsidy scheme undertaken by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government, saying this had caused anger among the people.
Fadzil urged the PH government to suspend the planned scheme to increase petrol prices as this had caused much public dissatisfaction, especially among the middle-class in society.
Meanwhile, Mohd Saifullah Abd Nasir, a delegate from Penang, had also criticised the media strategies employed by the Pakatan Harapan government. He questioned why the opposition was given a big platform on the country’s main broadcast channels such as TV3.
Mujahid refuted this, saying that a lack of media freedom was one of the main causes of dissatisfaction with the previous Barisan Nasional government.
“So, now that we are in the government, you want us to become just like them (BN)?” he asked the delegates.
He said PH must be consistent in its struggle and should not go against their previous values.
“Yes, we want media freedom. But the freedom we want is freedom with responsibility.
“How can we be responsible if we restrict others from speaking?”
Therefore, he said the government was choosing to “compete healthily” in the media landscape by providing information with its own narratives.
“After that, the rakyat can make their own choices.”