Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Oil hike

It’s been 336 hours (a fortnight ago) since the government reduces oil subsidies. There are many reviews in the air from the public on that sudden decision. The effect has certainly hit the lower income group as the hike had caused a domino effect. Household things price has also went up due to rising cost in transportation. Basic foods such as fish, meat, vegetable and other rose gradually although several measures have been taken to slower the impact. The rising price has certainly increased our inflation rate.

Bus express operators wants to increase their fares. yahu!

What struck my mind is the sharp increase, RM0.78 and RM1.00 for petrol and diesel respectively, from the previous price. Malaysia, as an oil exporter should benefit from the rising price of petroleum, hence why should we suffer from the global petroleum price? Secondly is the unexpectedness of the decision. At first Dato’ Shahrir Samad (domestic trade and consumer affairs Minister) said that the government would only reduce the subsidies on August. It would come as a surprise as the government implemented it ahead of scheduled, specifically on 4th of June. I know it is inevitable but these 2 factors really irritated me.

Nevertheless, looking by the global trend, Malaysian government can’t sustain the subsidy on oil in the long run. It must somehow decrease directly, or indirectly. I read a newspaper saying that Malaysia will become a net oil importer country in between 2011 to 2013, as our oil reserve has dried up. We haven’t got much time, so we need to hasten our method on lessening the burden of public.

In my humble opinion, we need to find alternatives, other than petrol or diesel, as a source of energy for vehicle. What about NGV, LPG, palm oil etc? I knew that some taxis in KL are using NGV as it is cheaper compared to petrol. Why hasn’t it introduced extensively to the general public? Too much dependability on petrol alone will cause the price to sour beyond our reach. Desperate times calls for desperate measures.

On the other hand, the most effective way is to upgrade our public transportation system. It is so far the only method that managed reliance on own transport. Many large cities in the worlds e.g., Tokyo, London, New York etc have a good integrated public transportation system. Having a good system means public can save more on their monthly income for other means such as food.

Hence, we need to solve problem by overcoming the causes rather than the effect. There is no point bickering on the rising world oil prices. We need to sit down and think the solution rather than squabble on whose fault it is from. I hope the government can find ways to minimize the people burden. It is no point walking in the corridor of power if you cant helps people that choose you in authority.

(To note: crude oil has reached nearly USD$140.00 per barrel, as for now 18th June 2008 from a mere USD$60.00 per barrel on 11th August 2005).