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Monday, December 22, 2008

Petrol Prices Lower...

The move made by the Malaysian Government to hike up fuel prices by 40% in June 2008 was badly received by the public. Not only did it mean extra expenses on petrol for the public, but also additional costs to everyday living in general as food prices rised and other related (both directly and indirectly) services introduced higher charges subsequently.

A mere 6 months later, fuel prices that had once soared in the USD150 per barrel range had dwindled to less than USD50 per barrel. Was the absurdly high price of oil at the time cause for such drastic action? Personally I feel that it was a rather hasty decision. From the flabbergasting price of RM2.70 per litre for unleaded petrol, prices have been lowered via at least 7 revisions since to the current RM1.80 per litre price that we all enjoy. My once RM90+ per full tank expenses for my 1.3cc car is now down to a mere RM50+ these days. (Thank goodness!!)

Unfortunately, although during the price hike everything else seemed to be influenced by the domino effect, these so-called petrol influenced businesses/services are still maintaining their post petrol increased prices despite the new low oil rates at present. For instance, many food operators imposed an increment in their menus due to higher transportation costs previously and have sinced maintained the new pricings. I suppose this is due to the fact that transportation costs affected previously by the hike have decided to not decrease their fees accordingly.

It's human nature to succumb to greed I suppose. Those with the sole intent to make profit will see only dollar (or in our case ringgit) signs and pounce at the opportunity to manipulate and make use of every shred of money generating possibilities out there simply because there is always a constant demand in the market (if not a growth in demand) regardless of the price tag they put on the products and/or services. On this note, I strongly feel that the oil prices should not have been escalated to an all time high 6 months back. They should've had some fore-sight in this matter to predict the fall in prices not long after. This was clearly a disappointing decision as price regression is practically non-existent today (at RM1.80 per litre).

At this point the whole RM625 reimbursement sounds like a joke. However, the government have no choice but to follow through for at least 1 year to be fair to all eligible car owners considering a little more than half of those eligible have already claimed their part (myself not included).

If the government were serious on cutting back and saving the nation's wealth, than they could start with a substantial cut in maintenance expenses of the PM and DPM's residences which is said to total up to RM10mil. Their (as well as other ministers) entertainment allowances are also an exhorbitant sum. I don't think anyone voted for these people during the elections so that they (candidates) can live a life of luxury. In true democratic nature, people vote for their representatives to be their voices (read: represent the people) in the administration (i.e. government). Where is the democracy?

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