Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim announced on Sunday that his government will review its use of subsidies to better help those most in need.
The previous approach of broad subsidies has not been able to effectively address the cost of living problems, especially among low-income and poor Malaysians, he told a press conference after chairing a special meeting by the national action council on the cost of living with government departments and agencies.
“I will give two weeks (to the relevant bodies) to evaluate all the implications of targeted subsidies and discuss with the private sector as well as investors, so that all involved will understand that the purpose of subsidies is to ease the burden of the poor,” he said.
Anwar said while he is not against the use of subsidies, they had to be implemented effectively to assist those who are most in need of them, Xinhua News Agency reported.
On a separate matter, Anwar said he will not continue the past practice of using ministerial appointments to reward political supporters but will instead ensure a smaller cabinet made up of well-qualified people who will be able to effectively implement his policies.
“I want ministers who will support me based on my policies and are also committed to good governance, anti-corruption, and economic recovery,” he said.
Anwar was sworn in on November 24 and has yet to form his cabinet, with discussions going on between his Pakatan Harapan coalition and various other political blocs that make up his unity government.