Thursday, June 5, 2008

Petrol Subsidy - National Spin

Malaysian government are very good at spinning the yarn when it comes to comparison. Malaysia, whatever it is will strive to compare itself selectively.

Prior to this, and prior to the election, we had our ex-Information Minister in an interview with Al-Jazeera comparing Malaysia to Pakistan and Myanmar on "freedom of speech" during the crackdown of BERSIH rally. Donald "DUCK" followed suit in a forum in with PJ residents when he said Malaysia is better than Myanmar.

Really wonder if it does make Malaysia look good when we compare ourselves with much inferior countries in that respect. Do we want to equate our development against the region's best or the region's worst? And if you could not find one equitable nation find one in the world. Samy Vellu at one time was justifying our toll to those in Japan. I really wonder if he considered the income per capita in Japan makes Malaysians looked like dwarfs.

Today, under heavy pressure and scrutiny, all MSMs published the prices of oil in the region. Thailand, Singapore, India, Indonesia.... interestingly Indonesia is the ONLY country whose fuel is cheaper than Malaysia. What they fail to understand is, Malaysia should be comparing its fuel prices against other "OIL PRODUCING" countries and not its neighbours who are not oil producers!

I have maintained that I have no problems with removing the fuel subsidy altogether. It will be good for the country, as we would once and for all bury the uncertainty of subsidy. One thing is for sure, 56bil worth of subsidies, I wonder how much are we paying on behalf of the Thais and Singaporeans who pump at our stations!

Before we remove the subsidies, Govt must ensure that public transportation, vehicle prices are comparable to the market. They must not, because of the need to sustain the national car project, burden the rakyat with astronomical vehicle prices. With that removed, Malaysians will be able to buy more efficient cars at lower prices and savings gained would improve the quality of live all round.

With subsidies removed, 56bil! saved can be utilised to fund more scholarships! 56 bil can be used to build more universities to give our children more quality education. 56bil could give our kids free education! 56 bil could give the nation better medical care! 56 billion can eradicate poverty once and for all. 56 billion! We can even give our retired people some MONEY!

No comments: