PM: RM4 bln cooking oil subsidy maintained, only bottled cooking oil subsidies axed

Ismail Sabri (centre) speaks during the live telecast while Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz (left) and Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Dato Sri Alexander Nanta Linggi look on.

By Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, June 22: The federal government still maintains the subsidy for palm cooking oil amounting to RM4 billion this year despite discontinuing subsidies for the same goods in bottle packaging.

In fact, Prime Minister Dato Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said, the subsidy for palm cooking oil this year has increased compared to RM2.2 billion in 2021 and RM500 million in 2020.

He also said cooking oil subsidised by the government amounts to 60,000 metric tonnes per month, exceeding the actual needs of consumers which is 55,000 metric tonnes per month.

“Initially, the subsidy borne by the government is for the cooking oil in 1kg polybag packaging priced at RM2.50 per packet only, compared to the actual market price of RM9 per kg, for the use of Malaysian Family (Keluarga Malaysia) from the B40 group. This subsidy has started since June 2007.

“During the Covid-19 pandemic, the government introduced a temporary subsidy programme for bottled cooking oil of 1kg, 2kg, 3kg and 5kg, in August 2021. This effort was to help Malaysian Family who were then affected by the pandemic.

“The temporary subsidy programme for bottled cooking oil is only for a period of three months at a cost of RM55 million per month,” he said in a live telecast carried by media outlets earlier this evening.

He was responding to confusion arising in relation to the government’s earlier announcement it was discontinuing the subsidy for cooking oil in bottle packaging effective July 1, 2022.

Ismail Sabri further said another reason for the government to axe the extended subsidy of the goods was due to cases of embezzlement and smuggling of bottled cooking oil by industrial and commercial parties.

“Thus, the government has decided that effective July 1, 2022, there will be no more extended subsidies for bottled cooking oil as the initial objective of this programme is to help those affected by the pandemic.

“Only the subsidy for cooking oil in polybag packaging will be continued and the government is confident that the subsidy of 60,000 metric tonnes per month is sufficient for the use of Malaysian Family,” he added. – DayakDaily