KUALA LUMPUR, July 29 ― The government will not proceed with implementing the petrol subsidy programme (PSP), Parliament heard today.

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Deputy Minister Datuk Rosol Wahid said the government decided this after considering the price difference of fuel between the peninsula and East Malaysia, among others.

“The decision was made on July 9 in a meeting between the ministry and the Finance Ministry due to several reasons,” Rosol told the Parliament today.

The programme was first announced on October 7, 2019 by the previous Pakatan Harapan government that allocated RM2.4 billion for the programme under this year’s Budget.

The programme was meant to provide direct assistance to eight million individuals from the bottom 40 per cent and middle 40 (M40) household groups in lieu of a blanket fuel subsidy.

Rosol was responding to a question posed by PAS’ Setiu MP Shaharizukirnain Abd Kadir on the status of the PSP implementation date.

“The government has decided not to implement the programme due to two reasons.

“It was to avoid misunderstanding between peninsula and East Malaysians (as the PSP would only involve consumers in the peninsula and not those in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan).

“The government also wanted to avoid a large gap in prices between East and West Malaysia,” he said.

The PSP which was supposed to be implemented in Peninsular Malaysia on January 1 initially targeted at some 2.9 million people in the bottom 40 (B40) group who are eligible for the Cost of Living Allowance (BSH).

During the tabling of the 2020 Budget last year, the PSP was announced by the previous PH government to include about five million middle-income earners, whose monthly household income was less than RM4,000.