PARLIAMENT The highest earning 40 percent of the country's population is currently enjoying nearly 80 percent of the subsidies rolled out by the government, Deputy Finance Minister Ahmad Maslan said today.

"The richest 40 percent are enjoying 80 percent of the subsidies," said Ahmad, who reiterated that the subsidies are not very effective in reaching its targeted group.

azlanHe also stressed that the increase in Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) to be included in next year's budget, would ensure that government's aid to the lower income group, would reach them.

Ahmad was speaking about the recent hike in oil prices nationwide, which included a 20 sen hike for RON95 fuel.

He also said that the government was not responsible for the increase in oil prices, as it was set by global oil prices.

Ahmad said that the government merely reduced its subsidy and must not be held responsible for increasing oil prices.

"The oil prices are determined by global markets. That's not the government,' he said in response to a question from Mahfuz Omar (PAS-Pokok Sena).

"Back in 2009, the price of oil was US$62 per barrel. In 2012, it has gone up to US$112 per barrel," he said.

~ Malaysiakini