MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku



Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Sudden cooking oil subsidy removal will hit B40 hardest, says group

The Malaysian Association of Standard Users has called for a gradual removal of the cooking oil subsidy instead of doing it suddenly as it will affect the B40 group the most.

The consumer group said that taking away the subsidy is not the solution as it will burden the people, particularly those from the low-income segment.

“The enforcement and policy should be aligned and instead of abolishing the subsidy, the government should consider providing monetary assistance, similar to Bantuan Keluarga Malaysia (BKM), on a monthly basis to boost the economy,” it told Malaysiakini.

This comes after the government announced the abolition of subsidies on 2kg, 3kg, and 5kg bottled palm cooking oil starting July 1. However, the subsidy for palm cooking oil in 1kg polybags remains.

The group pointed out that since the subsidy removal announcement, there has been a supply disruption for packed cooking oil.

“This is especially so for areas with a high volume of B40 citizens,” it added.

Card programme

The association suggested a card programme be introduced where people from the targeted group who qualify for subsidies be given a card or coupons to purchase selected goods to protect the provisions meant for the B40.

While the group welcomed the decision of certain stores in limiting the number of oil packets sold to consumers, it warned that some food businesses heavily rely on packed cooking oil.

“Limiting the number of packets sold to consumers is a good move. But, small business owners who sell fried food depend on packed oil.

“They also need to be provided with a card system which would ensure that the oil purchased is used for small businesses,” it added.

On June 28, Lotus’s Malaysia introduced a purchasing limit for palm cooking oil, with each customer limited to two 5kg bottles and three 1kg packets each.

This was after shoppers complained about difficulties in buying cooking oil in the past week since the government announced the subsidy removal. - Mkini

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