Where is the hottest spot in town on the eve of 5th June 2008 in Malaysia?
Every single petrol station in the country. Thanks to the announcement made by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi that the price of petrol will increase 78 cents to RM2.70 at midnight.
Shortly after lunch today, I received a phone call from a close acquaintance alerting me that petrol price will be increased by as much as 50 cents starting midnight. I brushed aside the claim thinking that there is no way the government would increase it by that much. I recalled the previous time when the price of petrol was increased by 30 cents, people took it to the streets demonstrating on all. Therefore, 50 cents would be absurd.
I received an SMS a few hours later by the same person telling me that the price increase might not materialize after all only to hear my colleagues getting all excited about some “increase” moments later. I heard something about “70 cents”.
Fearing the worst, I immediately hop over to the Malaysiakini website and saw the headline — Fuel hike: 78 sen more to RM2.70 per litre. Right at the same time, both TheStar and NST’s website was crawling. I guess it must have been due to the announcement. At that very moment, many in the country must have been talking about the price hike.
I am sure this will have a huge impact on many people. Those who travel a lot in their vehicle will definitely feel
a pinch a blow to the face. The price of food will increase as a direct result of the price hike. Gone are the days where one of my favorite food — roti canai — used to cost only 50 cents a piece. Nowadays, they are selling it for RM1 each.
So, what does this 78 cents petrol price hike mean to me? Apparently, not much. Well, at least not directly since I do not own a car. However, my expenses will definitely balloon if the price of food increases. So I guess everyone who eats will fill the pinch. Hell. I’m sure you have heard others complaining, “petrol price increase, rice price increase, toll price increase, only salary no increase”.
If that’s not enough, they are even raising the electric tariffs. Damn it! I hope my landlady won’t raise my rent since the electricity and water bill is included in the rent.
In the same Malaysiakini article, the Pee-M mentioned that the government plans to offer rebates to vehicle owners as a means to offset the petrol price increase. If (and that is a BIG IF) this “scheme” materializes, vehicles below 2000cc will enjoy an annual RM625 rebate while motorcycles up to 250cc will receive an annual RM150 rebate.
Below are some calculations (correct me if I’m wrong — it’s been some time):
An annual rebate of RM625 will only be worth RM52 per month.
70 liters of petrol at RM2.70/liter = RM189.00 (new price)
70 liters of petrol at RM1.92/liter = RM134.40 (old price)
Difference in price = RM54.60
Therefore, in order to fully “enjoy” the rebate-form-subsidy, you must not consume more than 70 liters of petrol per month. We have not even taken into consideration the increase of food items.
How much is 70 liters of fuel? 2 full tanks for a Viva-Kelisa type? I really have no idea.
Points to remember are that, firstly, this scheme is just a PLAN. It may or may not materialize. Secondly, the price of petrol will be adjusted monthly based on the market price because the government will only subsidize 30 cents (niamah so little) of the market price. Everyone better pray that it doesn’t or else we may see an increase to that RM2.70/liter mark again. Thirdly, the price could increase to between RM3 to 4 in August.
To be fair, the government cannot continue to subsidize the price of petrol forever. Can they? Therefore, reducing the subsidy can help the government save billions of ringgit, which is good (I guess). The fund that is supposed to be used to subsidize the price of petrol can then be channeled to other areas that benefit the people like building better transportation system, better/free healthcare, abolish the
damn tolls, better education, better everything lah, simple.
What is the government planning to use those funds for? Public transportation is horrible, tolls are here to stay, education can never be free, healthcare will never be free… Ask them to be more transparent, they are not willing to. *sigh*
I am sure many have seen the above YouTube video circulating before the 12th General Elections. The question is what “stage” are you in now?
30 cents increase and there were demonstrations, tear gases and water canons. No reward for the one who can guess what 78 cents increase will do.
Well, the Prime Minister has once again asked the people “to change their lifestyle and be prudent following today’s hike“.
UBAH GAYA HIDUP! or…