KUCHING: The successful suspension of the floating of RON95 and diesel prices and capping them at RM2.08/litre and RM2.18 /litre respectively was a significant achievement by the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, with the first year of the Pakatan Harapan administration, said its deputy minister Chong Chieng Jen (pix).
“Otherwise, currently RON95 should be RM2.51/litre and diesel RM2.48/litre. By capping the prices, the government is subsidising the people RM133 million per week,” Chong, who is also Sarawak PH chairman, told a media conference in conjunction with the one year anniversary of the PH government here yesterday.
He said the government also spent RM2 billion a year to subsidise the use of purple liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders so that the price is maintained at RM26.60 for a 14kg cylinder.
Otherwise, the price would be around RM56 for a 14kg cylinder, said Chong, who is also Sarawak DAP chairman.
On Sarawak and Sabah’s special position, he said the federal government was so close to returning back the rights of these two states according to the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) before the attempt was scuttled by Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).
He said it was sad that the bill was rejected by GPS, working together with PAS and Umno to deny the amendments to the Federal Constitution and to frustrate the PH government’s initiative to restore Sabah and Sarawak to their original position at the formation of Malaysia.
“Why GPS did that, the reason is only known by themselves but obviously I think many observers in politics know that if GPS accepted such an amendment, they will lose one political capital for them in the coming state election.
“This agenda, we have delivered it, so that is nothing to shout about. So I think the reason of GPS rejecting the amendment bill is because of their self-serving interest and for their political survival,” he said.
Meanwhile, he said previously under the Barisan Nasional (BN) government, there was only one minister of law, Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri, who was tasked to discuss the position of Sabah and Sarawak.
“After a few months, she was replaced by Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said. Since she (Azalina) became the minister of law, the committee suddenly dozed off and not doing anything anymore.
“But today, this Cabinet committee is headed by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, which manifests the seriousness and sincerity with which the PH Government was looking into the restoration of the rights of Sabah and Sarawak under MA63,” he said. — Bernama