Thursday, June 5, 2008
V-Power...and the Petrol Hike
(picture taken from www.philippetastet.com)
4th June 2008. It was like any ordinary day. My car was almost running on an empty thank. I didn’t even bother filling up, although there was news circulating about the raising of the petrol price. Actually the day before, the news was that the oil price has gone up to US$130 per barrel. Well, we know it was going to affect the prices of oil in Malaysia. The government has already been harping, that we are being heavily subsidized, and that it was time that we should not rely solely on the government. FINE.
4th of June, at about 4pm, we are told that the price will increase in August. Now seriously?! Wait till August ? Right....and then at about 5.30pm, it was official. Price in petrol to increase after midnight! To my horror, I still haven’t forgotten that I was running on an empty tank! Without thinking further, me and my colleagues requested for an early take off to pump Oil before things got crowded and messy. Of course being the responsible colleagues that we are, that didn’t meant going home after the pump but straight back to work.
Now, I have friends who told me, why you so kiasu? Actually, I’m not kiasu. I’m kiasi. Cause I need to go to One Utama for dinner and movie, and running on an almost empty tank from Old Klang Road certainly ain’t going to get me there on time, if at all. So once the news was out, we hoped that those who left at 5pm, have not gotten the news yet. Hahaha…well..fortunately for them, there is always radio…so......Anyway, we drove to the nearest petrol station. The crowd was already beginning, but we managed to pumped BLACK GOLD into our vehicles. And in a funny moment, as the momentum of the crowd was building up and as I was pumping petrol, across me was this gentlemen in a Waja, ever so cooly, pumping his share. There was a long queue building up to take over his place once he is done. And then when he pressed he pressed his remote control to open the car door, his alarm rang. Damn! Something was wrong. Must have short circuited. HAHAHA, that certainly wiped the cool look off his face. When I left, he was still there frantically trying to get his car to start. I didn’t know what happened but I hoped for the best for him before the crowd starts honking. Well, we went back to work after that.
Here is my take on the price hike. We have been screwed over by the Premier the second time around. Last time, it was the dissolution of Parliament. The PM said that No, parliament will not be dissolved. Right…less than 24 hours, Parliament was dissolved. Then now, the price of oil will not hike until August, but will be based on floating rates. Less than 30 minutes later, price to rise at midnight! ARGHhh!!!! KALI KEDUA!!! That was the first of my dissatisfaction. We all know that the price of oil is going to increase. Yes. No problems. Petrol is now already deemed a rare and valuable commodity in the world.
So if the price increases, then naturally, it will affect us as well, right? How true is this? Sometimes, I really wonder, if the figures shown in our subsidy, about RM1.00++ for a litre of petrol is really accounted for. I just wonder if the figure is true. In fact, I highly doubt it a lot. We are compared with other countries on the price hike. True is it happening everywhere, but here is the question, why on Earth are we compared to countries that do not produce oil? Have Terengganu, and Sarawak suddenly disappear from our country? The last time, on the issue of the BERSIH rally and as a democratic country we were compared to Myanmar! WHY ARE WE ALWAYS BEING COMPARED TO COUNTRIES WHICH DO NOT HAVE THE SAME POLICIES AS US?! WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY?!
Ok. Back to the issue. Since we are an oil producing nation, then naturally, if the oil of price increases, our income, as a nation should increase. We are after all a net exporter of crude oil. And thus the increase in oil shouldn’t affect us this badly. They say if we have less subsidies, then RM13.1 billion (if I’m not mistaken) is saved and will be returned to the Rakyat as rebates. OK. The rebates, if ever will only last us 2 months. Is this rebate a new policy? Or a counter-action to the increase of the price of oil in Malaysia? I don’t know about you, but I doubt this policy has any good effect at all on softening the blow. Well, what happened to the PETRONAS profits? PETRONAS should be collecting profits with glee amidst this situation(you can read all about this in MT). Certainly, the issue of transparency in our government is still an IDEALISTIC thought and not in action. My hope that if it is true and that Pakatan Rakyat will sweep the country soon, then I shall embrace it so see if change can be made. I am hoping for another wave, an even bigger wave than the 2008 elections. I’m angry. And so is everyone else. Because we are being screwed by the government over and over and over and over. Lets hope when the opposition takes over, they are not going to get us screwed over as well. Otherwise, we are gonna screw back….haha..whatever that meant, but I’m sure you all out there will know of many ways.
My next petrol pump is going to be RM98 for a full tank. I drive a Wira 1.3 by the way. And this increase is not going to be the last of it……..