King: Subsidies to stay

KUALA LUMPUR, April 29 — The Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, said today the government would strive to retain its subsidies and other forms of assistance to enable the people face the consequences of rising fuel prices in the international market.

The King said more than RM36 billion has been allocated for the purpose and so far various forms of subsidy and assistance had been made available to offset higher prices for goods and ease the burden on the people.

“The high fuel prices in the international market have had a direct impact on the prices of goods and services. The government has therefore taken various measures including imposing price controls and stepping up enforcement to stem price increases for the well-being of the people, particularly those in the low-income group,” he said.

Tuanku Mizan was delivering his royal address when opening the first session of the 12th Parliament. The Raja Permaisuri Agong, Tuanku Nur Zahirah, was also present.

The King said he was saddened to learn that certain quarters had abused the subsidies by hoarding essential goods and also smuggling them out of the country to make huge profits for themselves.

“These are despicable acts which impose difficulties on the people and violate their rights,” he said.

The King reminded the people that the measures taken by the government would amount to nothing unless they themselves exercised prudent spending.

Full article here.

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Looks like subsidies aren’t going anywhere yet. So most of the rakyat, I would presume, can sleep peacefully tonight, knowing that they can still travel to work in their cars tomorrow on the same amount of money.

But what the Agong is saying is true. All this subsidy will eventually amount to nothing, and bring the country even deeper in whatever debt they have now, if the people are to continue wasting. Fuel subsidy is just to make our lives slightly easier. So that we don’t use ALL of our monthly wages on petrol that we burn to run our cars and motorbikes and lorries and vans and buses… It’s like burning money, hard-earned money, no?

Slight change in lifestyle is very much needed really. Maybe eating less rice is slightly difficult, since it has been our staple food since forever, but some slight changes will need to happen, if we are to want our resources to carry on to at least the next generation. We can’t all afford to be selfish.

Government subsidies will only take us that far. How we utilise these subsidies, and how we adapt our lifestyles so we don’t rely on them too much, is all up to us. We have to let go of the crutches some time soon.



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