Thursday, June 5, 2008
Fuel price hike - the morning after
Malaysians woke up this morning to the grim reality - everything is going to be more expensive from now. The lunch time "chap fun" - or "economy rice" - would not be so economical anymore. For many wage earners, there isn't much of a lifestyle to change in the first place.It is a daily struggle of paying off our expenses. After the deductions by the Inland Revenue Department, the take home pay for many salary workers comes to almost nothing. Michael Chong would be kept busier now with his "Ah Long" stories. That's the reality. Malaysians generally are reasonable. The fuel price is expected and it is not confined to Malaysia. We understand the price increase is inevitable and we know we are still being subsidised. The price of petrol changes everyday in other countries. At current world market prices, the subsidies for petrol and gas is about RM50billion. Australia, like Malaysia, is a net oil and gas exporter but their motorists are paying RM5.70 per litre of petrol. Subsidies have become really huge in Malaysia and politicians who claim they can reduce the prices of fuel are just bluffing. Or they just don't care about long term economic sustainability for the sake of winning votes. But what Malaysians cannot stand is the wastage of public funds. Why do we spend millions to send one person to space is simply mind boggling. Why do we spend millions on grandiose and overpriced projects is another wonder in Malaysia. Or is it a way for greedy politicians to make money? On a lesser scale, can we stop those grand welcome for politicians at functions? They cost taxpayers' money. Why do we tolerate those huge billboards with faces of grinning politicians? Even the new Selangor government is guilty of that. Yes, we have to change our lifestyles because we don't have a choice but we want to see the government - federal and state - cut down on wastages. Be prudent in spending taxpayers money, that's what we want to see.