PUTRAJAYA, June 11 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today reaffirmed that diesel in Malaysia is still subsidised for farmers, fishermen, and public transportation and the savings, estimated at RM4 billion, will not go to ministers.

He said the diesel subsidy was only withdrawn from the wealthy and foreigners who do not pay taxes as the government’s priority is to help Malaysians.

“We are not discriminating against foreigners, but foreigners did not pay taxes, so our main responsibility is to Malaysians.

“Hence, we need to understand that the best method was to give help to those deserving, so subsidised diesel to the fishermen and farmers will continue. The subsidy is revoked to the wealthy,” he said at the Finance Ministry here this morning.

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Anwar, who is also finance minister, reiterated that the targeted diesel subsidies could save the government RM4 billion, which would go towards supporting public transportation and Sumbangan Tunai Rahmah, a cash aid for the needy.

Anwar reaffirms that targeted subsidies aim to prevent benefits from reaching the wealthy and foreigners, not to increase ministerial allowances.

“The money saved from the targeted diesel subsidies is not for increasing ministers’ allowances or serving other interests,” he said.

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Malaysia is one of three countries with the cheapest petrol and diesel prices at the pumps for years.

But the government set a new retail price for diesel effective midnight June 10, up from RM2.15 to RM3.35 per litre.

The new price is only for peninsular Malaysia, and does not affect Sabah or Sarawak for now.