Can you believe it? Malaysians have finally shed the image of beggars who depends heavily on subsidy. After decades of subsidy mentality, today Malaysian can stand tall and declare that they do not need fuel subsidy to continue their life. You people who criticized the noble intention of PM Abdullah Badawi in raising fuel price of petrol by 41% to RM2.70 from RM1.92 back in June 2008 should apologize to the Mr. flip-flop. What former premier and dictator Mahathir failed to achieve in his 22-year rule, Badawi a.k.a. sleeping-beauty has successfully accomplished it in 5-years. That’s right, Badawi’s grand plan has managed to move the people’s mentality away from fuel subsidy and for that he should be applauded.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Shahrir Samad today said proudly that the government has stopped paying subsidies for petrol since the beginning of this month, Nov 2008. He further claimed that the government would not be paying subsidies at all if the global crude oil remains at $65 a barrel. In fact the government is expected to save about RM10 billion next year on petrol subsidies. I think this minister who was infected by flip-flop disease from his boss, PM Badawi, began to feel guilty when he said actually the government was not paying a single cent even with the latest fuel price drop from RM2.15 to RM2.00 a liter for petrol. He even hinted that the government can actually revert back to the original RM1.92 a liter of petrol.
Of course the government is not paying any more subsidies stupid because the global oil price is now at $55 a barrel. Instead of subsidizing petrol the government has actually quietly making profit (from the people on the street). Heck, the $10 bucks a barrel difference being the $65 breaking-point an $55 current price should have generate many millions, if not billions, of dollars of profit. Now we know why this idiot Shahrir was so protective and defensive about letting the petrol price goes down further to reflect the true value based on current crude oil prices. Instead of subsidizing to reduce the burden from poor men on the street, the government actually saw this as a way to make a round(s) of cool profits from the people.
If making handsome profits is not enough, the ruling government seems to be getting greedier when Shahrir openly declared that the government might even set a floor price or other methods in order for the government to enjoy greater income (from the suffering of people?). So prepare for RM1.92 a liter of petrol even if the global oil prices plunge to $30 a barrel. Can you imagine what type of government you’ve voted into the office? A smart one obviously (so, who’s the suckers on the opposite site?).
The writing is on the wall. In reality the ruling government is in a dilemma because while it does not have to carry the bag of fuel subsidy with the current weak oil prices, it also means the tax or dividend paid by state-owned Petronas to the government shrunk as well. And since the total of direct and indirect contribution from Petronas was about RM75 billion, a lower crude oil prices means less money for the coffers. What do you do when you can’t get foreign funds money? You rob your own peoples’ money but if it’s done carefully and creatively nobody will ever realize it.
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