The Biggest PAC Investigation Yet

Good morning. Yesterday after lunch, we had our 2nd Public Accounts Committee (PAC) hearing. This is by far the biggest PAC investigation to date and on the subject matter of the LPG cooking gas subsidy.

After many months of investigation, the Auditor General’s office made a finding that some RM600 million a year is lost from this subsidy scheme. They found that the LPG cooking gas subsidy scheme, which is targeted for households, were being widely purchased for commercial use at laundries and restaurants.

On my own back of envelope calculation, some 40% of the total LPG cooking gas sold ended up for commercial/business purposes. I presented my calculations to the MoF and Customs officials, and these numbers were not challenged.

A senior MoF official expressed frustration at the lack of political will in cabinet to tackle this wastage by issuing clearer policy directions. The dominant market LPG suppliers are Petronas and Petron.

The Auditor General office also made a point that during their investigations into the three year period of 2015 to 2017, many requested accounts, data, documents and agreements were unavailable for the audit.

PAC will continue our hearings on this matter in the coming weeks and months, but it is somewhat clear that an urgent political policy decision needs to be made by the prime minister and his cabinet. Otherwise taxpayers will continue to lose RM600 million a year and 40% of the subdidized gas will be wrongly utilised by businesses.

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