Diesel consumers see red

PETALING JAYA: Diesel vehicle owners in the peninsula are outraged by the government’s move to rationalise diesel subsidies, with many questioning its purpose and timing.

Manuel Leon, a 40-year-old writer from Kuala Lumpur, said he is dismayed at the potential increase in cost for him.

“Right now, it costs around RM160 to fill up my tank. Without the subsidy, it will skyrocket to RM300. I may have no choice but to sell my lorry soon.

“It’s outrageous; we already pay high road taxes for diesel lorries, and now we’ll struggle even more to afford fuel,” he told The Star.He said he believes this added financial burden on the middle class would not be well received by voters, who are already grappling with the high cost of living.

Manuel suggested the government offer some form of compensation, such as reduced road taxes.

“If they remove the subsidy, they should lower the road tax. I pay RM853 annually for my lorry. Without the fuel subsidy, the cost of driving will be prohibitive,” he added.

Businessman Ehsan Amin Bashir, also 40 and from Gombak, criticised the “rapid pace” of government decisions affecting businesses.

“The government is making too many changes too quickly. These decisions should be introduced one at a time,” he said.

Ehsan said the diesel subsidy rationalisation would directly increase operational costs.

“Although the Prime Minister assured traders will receive the subsidy, how will they determine eligibility?” he said.

Ehsan said without the diesel subsidy, lorry drivers delivering goods, who already pay RM200 to fill their tanks, would have to shell out much more.

This would have a knock-on effect on prices of everything from upstream to downstream, he added.
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