Bad Economy & Crimes Eat into Petrol Stations?

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Aug 02 2007
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With or without government approval, the 3,200 petrol stations nationwide in Malaysia, including those along highways, will close at 10pm and open at 7am. Most newspaper reported the news and the decision was decided at the annual delegates conference of the Petrol Dealers Association of Malaysia (PDAM) here yesterday.

The justifications for such action: frequent armed robberies, increased security costs, higher wages for workers, low night sales, soaring rentals and electricity bills. To make matter worse, the dealers also want customers who use credit cards to buy petrol to fork out the 1% commission, previously absorbed by the dealers.

The association’s acting president, Major (Rtd) Wahid Bidin, said the decision was likely to go into effect in two months and added “Last year, every petrol station was robbed at least once … The average collection of only about RM1,000 daily after 10pm did not make it worth their while.”

However, Federation of Malaysia Consumers Association chief executive T. Indrani said that petrol stations should not be allowed to close early because “The dealers are making profits and, if they were losing, they would not be in business … If they are truly making losses, they should show their income and expense statements to prove that they are making losses.”

Malaysia Inflation RisingWhile I do not agree with the decision to close the petrol stations at 10pm, I can’t deny the fact that from the business perspective, it’s really not worth the operating cost if what the PDAM claimed is true. City drivers might be able to adapt to the early closure but those operating along highways should remains open. Can you imagine what will happen during the peak season if drivers need to refill gas along the PLUS highway but couldn’t find any petrol stations, not to mention the normal traffic jam even on the pay-highway itself?
Unless the dealers can prove they’re making losses, the government should not allow this to Fuel Price Highhappen. But what if the dealers are right? It might be true that the business is not that rosy though, considering the petrol prices were increased multiple times during the current administration headed by premier Badawi. You might still remember those days when the petrol was at RM1.10 per liter not too long ago and with a stroke of an announcement (the nation’s coffer is drying?) it’s now more than RM1.90 per liter.
The chain-reaction was that almost all your can think of in your daily expenses has risen – transportation, foods, car-parts and just anything. It’s normal now that car owners drive daily to the nearest LRT (light-rapit-transit) only to park their car and board the LRT. Some resort to cheaper transport alternative – motorcycles, thanks to the forever in-efficient bus transportation.
Malaysia Crime RatesAnd due to the government’s policy to import foreign workers especially from Indonesia, the social problems had began to show its’ color – increase in crimes such as arm-robberies, rapes, hijacking, snatch-thefts and anything related to crimes which you can name it. It might makes sense to utilize these foreign cheap labors during the good times but once you’ve a leader who’s not capable to maintain, not to mention increase the nation’s economy expansion, you should get ready to combat battalions of walking zombies terrorizing public’s security.
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