KUALA LUMPUR: External factors are behind the current challenging economic situation which has pushed up the cost of living, says economics minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan.
He said the government reacts according to its capacity in the current uncertain economic climate.
“This situation has to be translated to reduced subsidies or restructuring of subsidies, and this is our response to the external factors.”
The government would not take actions that would cause sufferings to the people as this would reduce public support for them, he said after speaking at an Umno economic forum at Putra World Trade Centre.
During the question-and-answer session, he said revenue collected from Goods and Sevices Tax had saved the country’s financial situation following the drop in world crude oil prices since 2014.
Petroleum revenues had declined by half, he said.
“Imagine you lose half of your salary every month without prior notice or announcement. This is what has happened to the country’s oil revenue. The GST has saved us and our country’s history will commend our party leaders for daring to create the GST,” he said.
Today’s convention was to prepare the resolutions to be presented for debate at the coming Umno general assembly. Almost 700 draft resolutions have been prepared.