Govt mulls special IDs to ensure only target groups get subsidised cooking oil, says Fuziah


A general view of the workers packaging the subsidised cooking oil at Golden Palm Oil Industries Sdn Bhd. — Malay Mail photo

KUCHING (Oct 2): The government is considering introducing special identification cards to ensure that only individuals in need can purchase subsidised cooking oil.

According to the Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister, Senator Fuziah Salleh, the measure is necessary as the government churns out 60 million packets of subsidised cooking oil every month but complaints persist about their availability due to rapid depletion.

“Currently, packet cooking oils are in the open market. We want to target them for the needy so that the undeserving do not purchase them.

“Despite 60 million packets of subsidised cooking oil manufactured monthly by the government, the complaints I hear are that they are always not available due to stock running out,” she said in a Facebook post.

She further added that a special identification for those worthy of subsidies would prevent this problem, stating that using existing identification documents (ID) such as MyKad or MySejahtera might not be feasible as families and micro traders needs vary significantly.

“Setting purchase limits based on weight, such as a 3kg or 5kg limit, could potentially create difficulties for micro traders. Additionally, the T20 group is ineligible for purchasing subsidised cooking oil, necessitating a distinct form of identification.

Responding to concerns raised by her followers, Fuziah said that a distinctive identification system could help curb the issue of non-eligible individuals, including foreigners, accessing subsidised products.

In Parliament last month, Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli announced the development of a mega database, ‘Pangkalan Data Utama (Padu)’, profiling 10 million households.

Scheduled for completion in January 2024, the database will be instrumental in determining subsidy eligibility.

While Fuziah’s proposal for a specific ID aligns with the broader targeted subsidy programme outlined by Rafizi, the precise integration of these initiatives remains unclear.