Fuel subsidy: Abang Jo urges Chong to fight for lower income Sarawakians

Abang Johari is surrounded by reporters as he was about to leave BCCK. Also seen are Masing (left) and Abang Abdul Karim (second left).

by Karen Bong

KUCHING, Oct 8: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Tun Openg hopes Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Chong Chieng Jen will fight to include Sarawak in the new targeted fuel subsidy scheme so that the lower income group in the state would not be left out.

“That’s their (federal government) decision and what can we do?” he told reporters after attending the Sarawak Business Federation (SBF)’s Business Engagement Session with the Chief Minister event at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here today.

He was commenting about the new targeted fuel subsidy scheme to be rolled out in January next year in which the price of RON95 will be floated based on market prices in the peninsula while the price would be fixed at RM2.08 in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan.

The lower income (B40) group based in Peninsular Malaysia will be entitled to receive a fuel subsidy of RM48 for motorcycle owners and RM120 quarterly for car owners, every four months.

Abang Johari said he was unsure if the new scheme will benefit Sarawak but emphasised there is no flexibility when the price of RON95 is capped.

“Honestly, I am not sure (if consumers in Sarawak will enjoy cheaper fuel). Until it (the scheme) is implemented, then we would know whether we have an advantage or not,” he said.

“I hope the deputy minister (Chong Chieng Jen) will fight for Sarawak,” he added.

On the federal government’s newly launched Shared Prosperity Vision (SPV) 2030, Abang Johari could not see major changes introduced in the blueprint concerning the direction of Malaysia in the next decade.

“Honestly speaking, to me there is nothing new. It is the same like Vision 2020 except they (federal government) included digital economy, but in terms of principle, it is the same,” he opined.

SPV 2030 is a long-term vision suggested and developed by Institut Masa Depan Malaysia (Masa) last year.

It is an effort to make Malaysia a country which is developing sustainably with fair distribution of economy with equitable growth at all levels of incomes, ethnicities, regions and supply chains by 2030.

SPV 2030 would begin together with Budget 2020 with the tagline “Shared Prosperity” to be presented on Oct 11.

The main target groups in SPV 2030 are the B40 (lower income group), the hardcore poor, the economically poor, those in economic transition, Orang Asli, Sabah and Sarawak Bumiputras, the disabled, youth, women, children and senior citizens.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing, Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, State Legal Counsel Dato Sri Fong Joo Chung, Professor at the Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya Dr Fatimah Kari, SBF president Datuk Abang Abdul Karim Tun Openg as well as its deputy president Datuk Dr Philip Ting were also present. — DayakDaily