The issue often turned to be talk among Malaysians on every Wednesday is related to petrol prices. It is impossible for a non-OPEC member such as Malaysia to determine the world oil price. On the other hand, increase in world oil prices may be regarded.Yet, the rise in oil prices may be regarded as good news to petrol station operators and not for Malaysians.
It will be endless if these two contradict situations are argued, but eventually, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is targeted and he is blamed for the rising petrol prices.
Supposedly, to resolve them, some suggested that the government to provide subsidy on petrol hence the rakyat will not be burdened. As suggested by Rafizi that the government should bear RM0.20 per litre on RON95.
Do we know that Malaysians used up 27 billion litres of petrol per year and if the government considers Rafizi’s idea, then a total of RM5.4 billion has to be borne by the government through subsidies on petrol?
Are all Malaysians really benefited or once again only the rich are enjoying them? Even in Pakatan Harapan’s alternative budget, they narrowed petrol subsidies to motorcyclists and cars with capacity below 1,000 cc and how many Malaysians have such vehicles?
Perhaps we should also know that Malaysia petrol prices are among the cheapest in the world including the neighbouring countries such as Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore. Due to the government’s measures to make petrol as a control item, every cost beginning from crude oil until the cost of its process is within the government jurisdiction.
Malaysia government has no control or any authoritative statement to determine world crude oil prices which are vetoed by OPEC. Thus, with crude oil prices remain volatile, will the opposition continue to muddle and politicize the issue? While obviously, they too are not able to do anything as clearly stated in their alternative budget.
Rest assured that Malaysians will continue to enjoy cheaper petrol prices compared to other countries and the government will continue to control the cost factors in the country.
Simultaneously, as described by Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani, the government will closely monitor the world oil prices movement versus against inflation rates before deciding to take action to help the people. Every US$1 per barrel increase in the oil price, the government will earn an additional income of about RM300 million.
Any decision will have to depend on the extent to which the government will benefit from the rising world oil prices. This is to ensure that all government plan for the people such as the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) will continue and more targeted groups especially the lower income groups, can be assisted.
If the government reinstates petrol subsidies, only from the wealthy few will benefit but if the government remains the petrol subsidy methods as of today, more people can be helped. Therefore, choose!