Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Fuel Increase

It Begins!! Effective midnight yesterday the government announced that it would be increasing petrol prices to RM 2.70... a hefty 0.78 sen by any standard. The thing is, I'm not actually griping about the increase. To be honest, I understand the need to gradually reduce the subsidies... the keyword here being gradually.

The fact that the increase came is not a surprise... The government had already held it back before the elections (gee.. I wonder why) but in the face of global fuel prices, it's tough to keep subsidizing to maintain the prices as it is.

2 Main complaints here...

Firstly, why not gradually increase it? If you need to increase it by 0.78 sen, fine... Why can't it be done gradually? Let's say 0.20 sen/ month over 4 months... You achieve what you need minus the hardship on the masses.

Secondly, for crying out loud, why not give advance notice? It's the same thing that our 'beloved' PM did during the elections... "No! No!... Parliament not dissolved tomorrow!!". Next thing you know, it was dissolved. And now, petrol prices will be increased by August... The fact is, I gave our government the benefit of the doubt and said "Nolah... by August.. means anytime between now and August... won't be so immediate wan...". Next thing I know, the New Straits Times stated that it would be by midnight.

Is it any surprise that our PM is losing credibility among the population. Anyway, as you all know by now it caused a massive jam everywhere. Even at 11 pm, most petrol stations were jammed and the congestion spilled over to most of the main roads... And who are the ones inconvenienced? That's right... The people.

Ultimately, it's true that not everyone will be pleased but a lot of us realise that the hike is necessary. Just that it should have been implemented gracefully. By giving advance notice, there would not have been a mad rush to fill up as everyone could have staggered it. Of course, there would be those who wait till last minute... Their pasal la... Why make everyone suffer!?? In addition, by staggering it, at least people don't feel that big a pinch... 40% increase is big man... Even for my 1500 cc Wira, we're talking RM 100 for a full tank!! Wahlaueh!! Ride bicycle already la...

The thing is, this is just one aspect of it... Word has it that electricity tariffs will be increasing as well by about 20% and you can expect that traders and manufacturers will now be increasing prices.

Shouldn't the rakyat also be entitled to better public transportation as the fact is, the situation in Malaysia is it's not that we don't want to car pool or make use of public transportation. Just that it's neither efficient nor convenient.... Not to mention dangerous...

And furthermore, if fuel prices are going to be increased to the market value how about motor cars? The excise duty on motor vehicles is among the highest in the world... Shouldn't it be reduced now that subsidies have been reduced?

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