Snowdan slams petrol subsidy scheme as imbalanced, discriminatory towards Sarawakians

Datuk Snowdan Lawan

KUCHING, Oct 8: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) Youth chief Datuk Snowdan Lawan says that the recently announced targetted petrol subsidy scheme has missed the point when it comes to Sarawak.

According to him in a press statement, other than the move being a bad practice, it is hard to understand why the scheme excludes Sarawak, Sabah and Labuan.

Snowdan who is Youth and Sports Minister added that almost every household whether in urban or rural areas such as Kuching, Sibu, Miri, Bintulu and so forth, like many others in the Peninsula, also depend on petrol to travel within Sarawak which is a huge state.

“This is selective, imbalanced, and discriminatory subsidy scheme defeats its own purpose and more so if we are to consider our state’s demographic factors,” he opined.

Snowdan made these remarks following the announcement of a petrol subsidy programme by Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, Saifuddin Nasution in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Meanwhile, Snowdan also highlighted that only existing “Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH)” recipients as recorded in the federal government’s database is eligible.

“What about the other consumers such as our smallholders who ply daily much longer distances from their villages to reach the hospital, clinics, and government offices to market their agricultural products?” he questioned.

“They cannot punish us just because we used more high-powered vehicles exceeding 1600cc using diesel.

“If that’s (high-powered vehicles) common to us then subsidise us on diesel, why exclude Sarawak and capped the petrol price at 2.08 per litre?

“It could be lowered, and that is why we called it a subsidy. This goes the same for diesel,” he further opined.

“Comparatively our overall consumption is less because our population is smaller, but that is not a criterion to exclude Sarawakians from enjoying the subsidy,” lamented Snowdan.

He suggested that the Pakatan Harapan government apply the subsidy across the board and benefit every spectrum of the population regardless of vehicle engine power. — DayakDaily