'Everyone up for another surprise', Rafizi says on fuel subsidy removal

The government will be replicating the same strategy to not give the public advance notice on any decision to remove blanket subsidies for RON95 petrol as it did for diesel, said Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli.

He said this when asked whether the move will be implemented this year with a pre-announced timetable.

“We will keep our cards close to our chest in the same way we surprised everyone with diesel (subsidy rationalisation programme).

“We did surprise everyone with diesel, and I think everyone is up for another surprise,” he told financial news outlet Bloomberg on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum’s summer gathering in Dalian, China.

Appearing in high spirits, Rafizi also downplayed concerns surrounding whether a plan to abolish fuel subsidies would affect inflation in the wake of price hikes.

“I know the question everyone is chasing me with: what next? In Malaysia, we have diesel which is for industry, and you have petrol for citizens.

“For the time being, we are focusing on diesel because the big leakages actually happen with diesel.

“I think we do need to make sure and learn from the process to improve the overall system,” he added.

The weekly Automatic Pricing Mechanism for petroleum products is set at RM2.05 per litre for RON95, RM3.47 per litre for RON97 and RM3.35 per litre for diesel in Peninsular Malaysia.

Subsidised diesel in Sabah and Sarawak remains at RM2.15 per litre.

The government has cited hoarding by unscrupulous parties and unfair distribution to defend its move to remove blanket diesel subsidies.

'Everyone up for another surprise', Rafizi says on fuel subsidy removal