Petrol Hike 1 year anniversary February 28, 2007Posted by elizabethwong in Current Affairs, Malaysia, Note2Self, Politics.
Today is the 1st birthday of our petrol hike.
As of 1624 hours, we would have saved RM 4,405, 234, 771. (see counter here)
We were told a year ago that the ‘subsidy’ savings of RM 4.4 billion would be utilised for public transportation.
Fine. I am first and foremost a user and supporter of public transportation as I do not drive (this ‘fact’ was meant for my ‘6 weird things tag’.)
One would be more than happy to support such a noble initiative, if only we could see some tangible results.
So this was my expected checklist:-
1. Increased Kommuter train services
2. Bus services to PJ and KL
3. Bike lanes
4. Entry tax into CBDs during peak hours
5. Construction of new stations of the Putra and Star LRT
None of the above materialised except part of Point 2 in the vicinity of this prosumer.
There is a RapidKL bus service to Sentral (and back) which runs on average once every hour, and I am a frequent user now. But isn’t RapidKL a private enterprise? (Please correct me if I’m wrong) Isn’t this an old plan way before the petrol hike? And why aren’t there buses to PJ?
I am expecting the government to let us know today what they had done with RM 4.4 billion in the past year. We have had to put up with inflation, more hikes such as tolls, taxi fares, even fuel surcharge for airplane travellers, in spite of a significant drop in the world oil prices.
At the very least, the government should show us the balance sheets.
There is a good archive of events and commentary on this site.
While we await the PM/Finance Minister’s announcement with bated breath, let us remind ourselves what he said a year ago, and ponder in wonderment, what excuses will the innovative minds behind him peddle to the public, in anticipation of a hike this year.
PM: We have to sacrifice
(The Star), 1 March 2006
KUALA LUMPUR: The estimated annual saving of RM4.4bil in fuel subsidy will be spent to improve the public transport system, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said.
He said it was not the Government’s intention to burden the people when it increased the price of fuel.
“The money that we save from the subsidy will be returned to the rakyat in the form of a better public transport system,” he told a press conference after a briefing at Bank Negara here yesterday.
“The cost to improve the system is high, and now we have the money to improve it.”
The prime minister said it was a small sacrifice by the rakyat for a better facility.
The price of petrol and diesel went up by 30 sen a litre yesterday. The Prime Minister reiterated that this would be the only fuel price rise for the year.
“There will be no more increase until December. For 2007, I will not speculate,” he said.
Abdullah also said that in reality, the fuel subsidy only benefited those who drove cars with bigger engine capacities.
“Those riding motorcycles and driving small cars don’t really enjoy the subsidy as their vehicles don’t consume a lot of fuel,” he said.
Asked why the fuel price increase was not made gradually, Abdullah said that doing so would only create more problems.
“Doing it bit by bit is more difficult because the prices of other goods would increase more often,” he said.
“It is better to increase it once and if prices of other things need to be increased, too, it will also happen once.”
Asked whether he was aware that the public had voiced their unhappiness over the price increase, Abdullah replied: “Who will be happy when prices of things go up.
“But we did not take away all (the subsidy). If we did that, the price of the fuel would be much higher, maybe in the region of RM2.50 a litre.”