[Governance] Fuel Price Increase

First off: I wasn’t among those caught in the mad fuel rush yesterday, mainly because I’d topped up my tank the day before. :P

The Good News:

– No more Service tax for eateries earning less than RM3 million (you’d be surprised at some of the outlets earning more than RM500,000 now)
– Cash back rebates when you renew your Road Tax (RM625 for those with cars below 2000 cc)
– Rebates for bikes up to RM150 (250cc and below)
– RM50 reduction on road tax for bikes (minimum RM2 for road tax though)
– Windfall tax FINALLY implemented on Independent Power Producers bleeding Tenaga dry.

The Hmmmm…. News:

– Foreigners coming into Malaysia will still be able to buy partially subsidised fuel (Singaporeans especially)
– Rebates will be sent to motorcycle owners via Post (abuse anyone?)
– Cash back will be distributed when you renew your road tax (I wonder how?)
– New pricing scheme for electricty

The BAD news
– Fuel price increase
– No real info on how they plan to distribute the money back
– My road tax isn’t applicable for the cash back (renewed in March, and the road tax cash back starts from April)
– Guzzlers will have to pay more
– No public transport announcements/improvements (Instead inane comments like these – check out the last para)
– Where will the money be going?

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My take on this? It’s very similar to [Minishort]’s rant and [Edrei]’s shout… Enough already! You all knew the price was going to go up eventually, so why didn’t you take action before this? If it’s too high for you, change your lifestyle! Get a smaller car! Save your money and eat in! Or wake up earlier and go shopping at the Pasar Tani (Farmer’s Market) on Saturdays!

If you MUST lobby, demonstrate, then demand of the Government what they intend to do with the fuel savings! Demand of them what changes they will be making to make your life, the paying voter easier to bear! Demand the Government for better public transport, and if they do accede to your demands, USE IT! Then demand the Government help you live a greener life! Heck, force the Government to walk their talk!

Don’t just rant and whine, because that’s all you are doing. Either make changes, demand changes, but don’t whine that the prices are all so expensive! The only ones who should be complaining are the rich, because these are changes to make THEIR life unbearable.

Though the system to redistribute the money back to the people is still, unfortunately, very open to abuse. I’d like to ask the Government this:

How are you going to ensure that the money orders will reach the right people?
How are you going to ensure that us drivers will get the cash back? What if I ask my brother to go and renew my roadtax for me? Will he get the money?
Are you going to improve our sorry state of public transportation? I’ll be the first to jump on it if you will.
What will the savings be used for?

I’m of the opinion that in the short run, everyone will rant and complain. But! The people who will feel the pinch the most are those using guzzlers, mostly cars above the capacity of 2000cc. Want to drive a big car? Then don’t complain about the fuel prices. (I’m sure that [Nick] is going to kill me now *flees*). Switch to a greener car. Or a smaller one. Keep your cars tuned.

The other group that will scream loudly will be those who don’t pay their road tax, but can’t really say much for them now, can I?

I know, and I realise the hardcore poor and those who realise on public transport will be the ones suffering the most. If you’re going to take to the streets for them, then DEMAND FOR BETTER TRANSPORT! DEMAND FOR A SYSTEM THAT WORKS, AND THEN ADHERE TO IT! Don’t take shortcuts and then blame the government for doing its damnest to protect you!

Stop being spoilt brats! Pak Lah, I support you. Oh, and I’d like to remind people: We’re not going to be a net exporter of oil for the rest of our lives, so either make changes in your life or shut up.

3 Responses

  1. Dynast June 6, 2008 / 12:54 AM

    Personally, I think most people WOULD switch to greener cars if the hybrids weren’t so damn expensive. Plus for the large families, it’s a bit difficult to choose between a bigger car vs more cars.

  2. Yvonne Foong June 7, 2008 / 10:38 PM

    Why people can’t see the oil crises is a GLOBAL ISSUE? Let’s not confuse it with the illusionary inflation of paper money.

  3. Karcy June 8, 2008 / 12:37 AM

    Actually, this has less to do with green cars than the cycle of the entire economy. Whenever fuel prices increase, the ringgit value drops. Fuel price increase also means that raw material like food, etc. will be more expensive. The domino effect, really.

    The ones most hit are not only the poor, but businesses. The cost of everything is haywire, so the profit-cost calculations will be all whack. A close relative of mine works in a transport and supply company and the sudden cost changes can actually cause the entire company to gulung tikar, worst comes to the worst.

    People are reacting with shock because the price changes are sudden. There will be a period of economic chaos for quite a while before the market stabilizes again.

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