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NIBONG TEBAL: total of 12 Malaysian companies have been listed among the 15 best-performing companies in Southeast Asia in the first five months of this year, according to Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli.

He said economic monitors have listed 15 companies’ stocks that recorded the most significant gains in Southeast Asia, and 12 of them are Malaysian companies, demonstrating that the country is back on track under the Unity Government’s administration.

“We have political stability, and we are starting to see signs of economic improvement.

“If this continues, projections suggest that by 2027 or 2028, Malaysia could be recognised and declared as a developed nation,” he said to reporters at the launch of the Unity Machinery for the Sungai Bakap by-election here last night.

The minister also spoke about oil prices and the implementation of targeted diesel subsidies, noting that in the past, oil prices were at RM1.90 per litre, and government subsidies were RM3 billion out of a budget of over RM200 billion.

“Now, subsidies are RM60 billion, and crude oil prices are at US$80. We can’t build schools, we can’t increase salaries, and the subsidies benefit the wealthy.

“Isn’t it better that we redirect those subsidies to all public vehicles, small trucks, all traders, even regular people as long as they have diesel vehicles, and those earning below RM100,000 a year also get RM200 a month,” he said.

Rafizi added that the implementation of targeted diesel subsidies also helps the government distribute the subsidy funds directly to needy households monthly instead of paying billions of ringgit to oil companies.

Yesterday, Finance Minister II Datuk Seri Amir Hamzah Azizan announced that the diesel price at all retail stations in the Peninsula is set at RM3.35 per liter, which is the market price without subsidies, starting at 12:01 am last night.

Under BUDI MADANI, a cash aid of RM200 per month is provided to private diesel vehicle owners, small farmers, and small commodity planters.