PM Anwar Ibrahim said on Sunday that Malaysia is reviewing its government subsidies program with the goal of allocating funds to low-income groups, giving the rising cost of living top priority as he takes office.
He stated at a news conference that governmental agencies have two weeks to examine the effects of reducing subsidies.
Malaysia provides subsidies to all citizens, with fuel and cooking oil accounting for the biggest expense. It also provides subsidies for electricity, sugar, and flour.
Anwar said, “Subsidies must be targeted, otherwise, those subsidies are enjoyed not just by the low-income group but also the wealthy.”
Anwar is upholding the policies of the previous administration, which last month proposed a smaller budget and a reduction in subsidies because of rising commodity prices and their effect on the government’s coffers.
According to estimates, Malaysia will spend a record $17.3 billion on subsidies this year.