PRIME Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim acknowledged the challenges faced by many due to the increasing cost of living in Malaysia, which has resulted in numerous complaints on social media platforms.
“There is a problem, I admit it. There are issues concerning the rising prices of goods and essentials,” he said after attending Lembaga Tabung Haji’s 60th anniversary celebration on Friday (Sept 29).
Yesterday, the Finance Minister said the government is working on details for the implementation of targeted subsidies. Putrajaya is of the opinion that such a plan will help alleviate the problem for those in need while also cutting down on the government’s subsidy bill.
Anwar also pointed out 10 days ago that the new targeted subsidy would be presented during the upcoming second Madani Budget in October.
He added that any subsidy rationalisation would not burden the middle and lower-income groups.
However, Anwar gave his assurance that the Malaysian government was trying to deal with the increasing prices of goods that had affected public spending.
He also noted that the matter was being looked into by acting Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali and his deputy Fuziah Salleh.
On the other hand, Anwar claimed that Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had also raised the issue during the National Action Council on Cost of Living committee meeting.
“Some countries are facing major social unrest due to the restriction of rice exports and the increase in export taxes imposed on onions, for example. All these have an economic impact and we are trying to deal with them, but we are addressing the matter.
“The Finance Ministry is ready to accommodate, and assistance (to the public) will continue.”
Moreover, Anwar’s statement came amid speculation that he would announce a cabinet reshuffle this weekend. The rumours were quashed after he met with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah on Friday.
There is no rush for a Cabinet reshuffle, according to him.
Furthermore, Anwar was granted an audience for a routine post-cabinet briefing but told the media that he did not rule out the possibility of discussing Cabinet reshuffles with the King. – Sept 30, 2023
Main photo credit: Bernama