Karim to Chong: Don’t fuel public anxiety over petrol subsidy

Abdul Karim addressing the press. (file photo).

KUCHING, Oct 3: Parti Pesaka Bumitputera Bersatu (PBB) vice-president Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah has lambasted deputy domestic trade minister Chong Chieng Jen for causing unnecessary anxiety among the people.

This following the Stampin MP’s recent announcement on the lifting of the fuel subsidy yet to be finalised by the federal Cabinet.

Abdul Karim said Chong, who is the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Deputy Minister, should be more responsible as what he said could be misconstrued by the public as government policy.

“As a federal deputy minister, he should know that policies or matters which have not been endorsed by the federal Cabinet, should not be discussed or revealed out to public as it tantamount to only ‘rumours’, as it could confuse the public.

“It seems that even after more than a year sitting in the (deputy) ministers’ comfort chair, he (Chong) seems to be still struggling to understand how ministries work,” Abdul Karim said in a statement today.

Chong, who is also Sarawak Pakatan Harapan chairman, recently announced that fuel subsidies will be lifted for Malaysian households earning more than RM3,900 a month, where they will have to pay more for RON95 fuel and diesel once the federal government implements the targeted fuel subsidy plan.

However, last night, Chong issued a press statement, stating that the federal government had received public feedback on the proposed introduction of the targeted fuel subsidy scheme for both RON95 and diesel but had yet to make a final decision on the matter.

The incident led to Abdul Karim who is also Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, as well as Youth and Sports, speculating that Chong either failed to understand his responsibility as a deputy minister or it was the latter’s intention to spread rumours.

“My advice to him. Only explain and give true statements. Don’t spread unnecessary anxieties over matters that are still in discussion at Ministry level, like this matter on subsidies on petrol for different level of societies.

“It has been debated extensively in social media last few days because of his earlier press release, only to come to an anti-climax today (published in the media) that the matter has not been finalised, confirmed or endorsed by the Cabinet,” said Abdul Karim. — DayakDaily