“Success in implementing the targeted subsidy scheme shall leave Madani gov’t with an indelible legacy”

Editor’s Note: In his live address to the nation last night (May 21) Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the Cabinet has agreed to implement targeted subsidies on fuel starting with diesel which is projected to save the country RM4 bil annually.

Two salient points that Anwar who is also the Finance Minister touched on are (i) Sanah and Sarawak will be exempted from such exercise and that the subsidy rationalisation will not benefit the T20 group and foreigners,


IN HIS address to the nation last night (May 21), Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced that the targeted subsidy scheme will likely kick in as scheduled in 2H 2024.

In my heart of hearts, I do hope everything will go well.

I truly believe that if it is successfully implemented, the scheme will be an important step to restructure the economy in such a way that we will become able to transform our economy from one that is exploitation-based to one that generates true, real and high value.

My problem is that I have little to no faith in Anwar and his band of merry men and women.

Although I hope the targeted subsidy scheme will succeed, I am unable to dispel this sinking feeling that Anwar and his band of merry men and women will fail to implement it – and as a result – make things worse even if they are genuinely trying to make things better.

There is a saying: The road to perdition is paved with good intentions. There is another saying: Fools rush in where the wise fear to tread.

Even a fool can say that they hope everyone will be happy, healthy and at ease but it takes a great leader and a great team to translate that hope into reality for a nation.

Looking at Anwar and the Madani government attempting to implement the targeted subsidy, I can’t help but feel that this is like looking at guy trying to lift a 100kg weight right after he has constantly failed to lift 10kg.

Can you succeed at doing something big when you have repeatedly failed at doing something small? I can’t help but wonder.

Prospect of failure looms?

Anyhow, considering that in life you have to believe in something – and seeing that I have no other choice – I suppose I will just have to try to believe in Anwar and the Madani government even if it is not going to be easy – and hope against hope – that Anwar and his team will defy all expectations and succeed despite the odds.

This targeted subsidy scheme will fail if (i) it causes inflation to skyrocket; (ii) is resisted successfully by those who benefit from the status quo; and (iii) is seen as a measure to fulfil the requirement of a foreign agency like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or the World Bank rather than to benefit the people and the nation.

My gut feeling is that the Madani government will be severely tested on all three counts in its quest to implement the targeted subsidy scheme and restructure the economy.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (Image credit: Anwar Ibrahim Facebook) 

“Fire is the test of gold; adversity, of strong men,” says Stoic philosopher of Ancient Rome, Seneca (c. 4 BC-AD 65).

The implementation of the targeted subsidy, I am quite sure, is going to be a test of fire for the Madani government.

Although I have had a low opinion of the Madani government so far, I will be more than happy to admit that I am wrong if Anwar and the Madani government can just do what it takes to implement the targeted subsidy scheme successfully.

If the Madani government succeeds, I truly believe that it will not only be an important turning point for the country, it will provide the Madani government with an indelible legacy.

I hope the prospect of doing good and leaving a great legacy will motivate and encourage the Madani government to do whatever it takes to make the targeted subsidy scheme a success.

May Fate and Fortune bless us all. – May 22, 2024

Subscribe and get top news delivered to your Inbox everyday for FREE