BANDAR TUN RAZAK, 29 Oct: The impact of the cut in sugar subsidies by RM0.34 announced by the Barisan Nasional (BN) Government at the tabling of the National Budget 2014 would adversely affect the Deepavali celebration on 2 November.
The price increase from 2.50 per kilogram to RM2.84 per kilogram is seen as a burden to the Indian community because Indian sweets use sugar.
The subsidy cut which was in effect since 26 October was made with the excuse of reducing the number of diabetic which is worrisome in Malaysia, in addition to saving government expenses by a total of RM64.02 million this year and RM551.25 million for 2014.
Starting 26 October, the price of sugar increased from RM2.50 per kilogram to RM2.84 per kilogram after the announcement of the RM0.34 subsidy cut made by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at the tabling of the Budget 2014 the day before.
Several individuals met at the Deepavali Aid distribution ceremony for the Bandar Tun Razak Parliament expressed their disappointment on the government’s decision.
A resident, K Palanivel, expressed his disappointment following the increase of price before the Deepavali celebration and the burden shouldered by the people may not have been felt as badly if the increase was done before the celebration.
“The increase in price should not have happened and I am very sad with the government’s move. I am not the only one, but all Malaysians use sugar, so this decision should not have been done, especially since the Deepavali celebration is coming up,” he said.
For another resident, M Sarojini, the increase in sugar price caused her to be more improvident in celebrating Deepavali.
“My expanses have to be reduced because I am worried that there will be an increase in price of other goods due to the increase in sugar price,” she said.
The distribution ceremony was carried out by the Member of Parliament for Bandar Tun Razak’s wife, Puan Seri Salbiah Tunut, accompanied by her husband, the MP who is also the Chief Minister of Selangor, Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim last night.
In conjunction with the Deepavali celebration, the MP for Bandar Tun Razak gave RM50 cash as well as essential goods such as rice, sugar and flour to 100 less fortunate residents from around the area.