The government is expected to spend over RM14bil on subsidies of essential goods including petrol and diesel this year.
Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said in Temerloh, Pahang, that this is due to increase in the global price of goods and oil products.
“Last year the government spent RM10.3bil on subsidies for the people,” he told reporters after meeting voters in Kerdau near here today.
Ismail said the government has no plan to abolish subsidies in the near future.
“Any reduction of subsidies must take into account the impact on the people although it is a burden to the government,” he said, implying that public funds and government spending are separate things.
“Subsidies are not only given during elections as the Barisan Nasional government has been giving them for a long time,” he added.
He said Malaysians are fortunate that they receive government subsidies, unlike people in other countries who have to buy goods at higher prices.