KUALA LUMPUR, June 23 — The government is not pulling the plug on the subsidies provided to the people, but it is increasing the subsidy value to help ease the burden of those affected by the current rising prices of goods, says Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa.
According to him, the government is always concerned over the cost of living issues plaguing the people resulting in the channelling of RM43 billion worth of subsidies to the people for various things.
“As the minister in charge of communications, I deny vehemently that there is a decision to stop all the subsidies on July 31 as alleged. It is a huge slander and completely untrue.
“The government led by the Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob) had made a firm decision regarding the policy to assist the people by providing subsidies, which will remain. In fact, the government has decided to increase the subsidy value apart from reviewing previous subsidies so that the implementation will be more effective,” he said at a media conference here today.
He was commenting on a video posted on the Tik Tok application which claimed that the government would withdraw all subsidies on July 31 which led to panic buying among the people.
Yesterday, Ismail Sabri announced that the government would maintain the subsidy of RM4 billion for cooking oil in 1kg packets allocated for this year.
He said the subsidy, which began in June 2007, was provided by the government only for that 1kg cooking oil packed in polybags priced at RM2.50 each, compared to the real market price of RM9 each, and for the consumption of Malaysian families from the B40 group.
Annuar said although people are free to use the social media platform to spread information and views, it should be done responsibly and not used with ill intentions.
He said the opportunity should be used for good purposes, to give opinions and feedback with facts, not to spread false news that is harmful to the people.
The public also should be aware that spreading fake news is an offence governed by law and actions can be taken against those found violating the law, he said.
Elaborating, Annuar said there are three categories under the fake news offence namely half-truths that have been ‘dramatised’ following real news format so that it is considered true, sources that have ulterior motives aimed at spreading slander, and sources from netizens who have little understanding of the matter.