Najib defends sugar subsidy cut, says it’s for the general good

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Excessive sugar consumption can lead to a slew of health problems, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today (pic), as he defended the government's move to end the sugar subsidy, effective today.

At the Gerakan national delegates’ conference this morning, Najib said besides poor vision, gangrene and being dependent on a dialysis machine, excessive sugar intake could affect the male libido.

"I think that if the late Gerakan president Tun Dr Lim Keng Yaik were here, he would describe it in a more colourful manner. I leave it to your imagination as I am not going to say what I think he would have said," Malaysiakini quoted Najib as saying.

Dr Lim, who died in December last year of old age, was known for his sometimes off-colour humour and comments.

Najib also criticised the opposition's tendency to oppose government initiatives without any regard for the consequences. He said such opposition was not constructive.

The removal of the sugar subsidy was announced by Najib in his 2014 Budget presentation yesterday, which translated to a RM0.34 increase per kilogram of sugar. The retail price of sugar is now RM2.84 per kg.

"Sugar is bad for you. I myself have learnt to have tea without sugar. People can change for their own good. If this is a responsible government, we must teach people the right things," Najib said.

He also ticked off Pakatan Rakyat for shifting its position on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) issue saying when it was first mooted, the opposition initially rejected it outright. Pakatan Rakyat then shifted its stance to say that its implementation should be delayed.

"Why have they altered their position on the GST? Because all the market analysts agree that the GST is good for Malaysia," Najib said.

He said all the analysts, market analysts, investment bankers and rating agencies agreed unanimously that the GST was right way to go. - October 26, 2013.

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