Capped petrol price inflexible

KUCHING: It is up to Deputy Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Chong Chieng Jen now to fight for Sarawak on the targeted petrol subsidy scheme for the B40 group in Sarawak.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg hoped that Chong would do the right thing and fight for Sarawak on the matter.

He said this to reporters when asked whether Sarawak would still benefit with the price of RON95 capped at RM2.08 per litre instead of receiving outright subsidy like their Malayan counterparts.

“To have our petrol price capped like that, there is no flexibility,” he said to reporters after a business engagement session with him organised by Sarawak Business Federation (SBF) at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) yesterday.

As to whether the scheme would be beneficial or not, he recommended waiting until the federal government had fully implemented it.

“Only then will Sarawakians know whether it brings benefit or not,” he said.

On the Shared Prosperity Vision (SPV) 2030 mooted by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, he said to him it was nothing new.

“It is Vision 2020 with a new name,” he said.

Abang Johari (centre) receiving a souvenir from the president of Sarawak Business Federation (SBF) Datuk Abang Abdul Karim Tun Openg as SBF deputy president Datuk Philip Ting (left), and speakers at the Sarawak Business Federation’s ‘Journey to 2030’ Business Engagement Session Datuk Seri JC Fong and Professor Dr Fatimah Kari (right) look on. Photo: Ramidi Subari.

At this point, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri James Jemut Masing, who was sitting next to Abang Johari, said what the SPV 2030 meant is just sharing the state’s prosperity with the federal government.

Abang Johari said the one and only difference in the SPV 2030 is that it includes the country’s transformation to digital economy and in terms of principle it is the same as Vision 2020.

To a question on what the Sarawak government hopes for from the National Budget 2020 which is to be tabled this Friday, he said he will wait to see what will be given to the state.

“When the budget has been tabled, I will comment. You see, the core is revenue. For a while you (federal government) want the Goods and Services Tax (GST), and then you don’t want it.”