SEpT 3 – Higher pump prices
In its first fuel hike in two years, the Government announced a 20-sen reduction in subsidy for diesel and RON95 petrol, bringing the consumer price of diesel to RM2 and RON95 petrol to RM2.10 per litre. The move would save the Government RM3.3 bil in subsidies for 2014 as it worked to lower the worryingly high budget deficit and shrinking trade surplus. Economists have said that the persistent deficit could make the country vulnerable in an event of a sharp economic downturn as it then would not have the funds to hold up the weak economy. Malaysia spends RM24.8bil a year on fuel subsidies.