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Loke slams Putrajaya’s reasons for discontinuing bottled cooking oil subsidy

Free Malaysia Today logo Free Malaysia Today 4 days ago Dineskumar Ragu
DAP secretary-general Loke Siew Fook said cooking oil in polybags could also be smuggled. © Provided by Free Malaysia Today DAP secretary-general Loke Siew Fook said cooking oil in polybags could also be smuggled.

GEORGE TOWN: DAP secretary-general Loke Siew Fook has hit out at Putrajaya for blaming smugglers, among others, in deciding to discontinue the subsidy for bottled pure cooking oil.

The Seremban MP said that the move to do away with the subsidy had not been properly thought out.

“This problem (smuggling) has been going on for a long time. Why can’t we solve it?

“Why are our borders easily breached? Are (the) authorities inefficient?” he said in an online interview tonight.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced the discontinuation of subsidies for bottled pure cooking oil.

Ismail said the initiative did not meet its objective of helping those who had been affected by the pandemic.

“We found that the subsidy had been abused by the commercial sector and smugglers,” he said.

The subsidy for cooking oil sold in 1kg polybags, however, would remain.

Loke said if bottled cooking oil could be smuggled across borders, so could the polybags.

The former transport minister also took issue with the RM100 increment under the Bantuan Keluarga Malaysia cash aid for B40 households, which would now see recipients get RM500.

The increment, Ismail said, would help recipients cope with the price increase that follows the removal of price control measures and subsidies for certain goods starting July 1.

However, Loke said the amount was “too little” and would not make much difference. He added that Malaysians from the M40 income group, who were also struggling with rising costs of living, had been ignored by the government for the cash aid programme.

Loke went on to urge the government to come up with cost-cutting measures by slashing unnecessary expenditure for its Cabinet ministers, including trips outside Malaysia and reducing the number of special officers.

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