Anwar Ibrahim defends U-turns on healthcare scholarships, egg and chicken subsidies

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim expressed his willingness to reconsider previous decisions if it would alleviate the public’s burden. He argued that there is no reason to avoid changing a decision if it initially caused inconvenience.

“The old decision was to stop, our decision is to continue. What is the flip-flop? If the decision burdens the people Tanjong Karang should raise it, the decision helps the people who is Tanjong Karang trying to be champion for?” Anwar stated during the Prime Minister’s Question Time in Parliament.

He was responding to a question from Tanjong Karang MP Datuk Zulkafperi Hanapi, who asked why there were “U-turns on several decisions, including those made in relation to the discontinuation of Public Services Department (JPA) scholarships for three healthcare courses and on subsidies to purchase eggs and chicken.”

Anwar explained that for the JPA scholarships, it was an old decision to review and stop them, but when he chaired the meeting with JPA, his decision was to continue. Similarly, for the chicken and egg subsidies, the decision was to end them in June. However, when the matter was brought to his attention, he requested their continuation, as Raya Haji is approaching and ending the subsidies would burden the people.

“So the difference is, Tanjong Karang, if not happy with the flip-flop, even if it’s a flip-flop, to help the people I will flip-flop,” Anwar said, which then sparked a commotion in the House.

Anwar referred to Agriculture and Food Security Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Sabu’s announcement that subsidies will stop in June. “Kota Raja said we have to stop subsidies [for chicken and eggs] in June based on an old decision, but Prime Minister Tambun said to continue. So what is the problem?” he questioned.

On Sunday, Anwar announced that the JPA scholarships in question will continue.

World News

Lee Shuyi

Lee is an expat writer living in Thailand. She specialises in Southeast Asian news for the Thaiger. When she's not writing, Lee enjoys immersing herself in Thai culture and learning Thai.

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