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Monday, June 28, 2004


Of Interesting Reads at Jeff's and Petrol Prices

::The guest bloggers at Jeff's Screenshots... on the present theme of Malaysians living overseas is proving to be more than just quite interesting reading. To date this by Dr Zain Azrai, London, UK is most informative and interesting. Malaysian leaders , especially the new Tun who earlier claimed that he does not get even one sen, like to tell us that we should all be thankful, especially to the BN which has been the only gomen we know. They also like to let us know how rosy and cheaps thing are really over here, is this true? The latest of course is with regards to the price of petrol. How cheap it is here and how expensive it is in places like Singapore. Of course they expect us to swallow the bullsh-t, unfortunately many of us do. If we have been using our resources and wealth well in the past couple of decades and had not mis-used them for white elephants like the tallest buildings in the world and that Pu...jaya, things would have certainly been better. If here had been better management of the nation there would be no need for this threat to withdraw the petrol subsidies.

This is the nonsense we read of in the papers, from the Star::
At present, prices of petrol, diesel and LPG in Malaysia are among the lowest in this region. For instance, RON97 petrol is sold at 137 sen a litre, RON92 petrol at 133 sen, diesel at 78.1 sen and LPG at 135 sen.
In comparison, consumers in Thailand have to pay 162 sen per litre for RON97, 154 sen for RON92 and 139 sen for diesel while Singaporeans pay 341 sen for RON97, 294 sen for RON92 and 172 sen for diesel.
In oil-rich Brunei, consumers pay 1.197 sen for RON97, 1.173 sen for RON92 and 0.7 sen for diesel.

This type of comparison is of course nonsensical when other factors are not taken into consideration, so are we to be taken in. And when tthey say gomen subsidies, remember it is coming out of the taxpayers' pockets.

Petronas has made lots of money from our oil resources but as long as it remains off-budget and not scrutinised by Parliament, the taxpayers will be kept in the dark and will not be aware whether those Petronas petrol ringgits have been put to good use or not. If the petrol ringgit has been put to good use, who knows, our pump petrol prices may be the equivalent of those in Brunei or even cheaper. The good citizens of this nation should ensure the gomen of the day is more accountable and truly make good use of our resources and wealth.

The gomen appears to be 'letting the cat out of the bag' early this time around. Usually this is done for the usual chous from the other gomen leaders to chip in and support the issue. An important issue like this which can have snowballing effects on joe-public should rightly be debated in Parliament, so that a wider discussion can be had prior to implementation. Once out of the bag, as pointed out by the MTUC, cost of living will rise even before the issue is implemented. Any such rise iin the cost of living will greatly affect the middle and lower income groups greatly. So there has been some backtracking, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Mohamed Shafie Apdal said that the gomen has not made any decision yet on the cut in the subsidies for petrol, diesel and liquified petroleum gas (LNG). Knowing that the gomen would streamrolled such issues with ease and as day follows night, the withdrawal of these subsidies will take place, in one form or another. Some have even gone to the extent of the saying that the gomen's coffers must be going bare for these measures to be thought of. Some pointed to the 'reassurance' recently given regarding the EPF as another indicator of this.

Lets hope that things won't go that bad and lets wise up in the future.

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