THe New Straits Times Online
KUALA LUMPUR: Fuel prices may be set lower if the government can afford to pay even more in subsidies than it does, the deputy prime minister said.
“Anything can be done to bring down the price of fuel at the pump.
“Anything is possible, but it depends on how much you want to set aside in subsidies,” Datuk Seri Najib Razak said.
He said the government’s huge subsidy bill was a drain on resources which could be put to better use elsewhere.
Najib was responding to de facto opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s latest promise to bring down fuel prices at the pump by 70 sen a litre.
Najib said increasing subsidies was wrong on three counts: it meant a larger burden on the government, it bucked worldwide economic trends to reduce subsidies and it encouraged consumption and not conservation. [more]