Wednesday, November 29

Thumbs down to hike in fuel, sugar prices


KOTA KINABALU: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Central Supreme Council member cum PKR Sabah treasurer Dr Roland Chia Ming Shen has condemned the Government for its latest decision to increase the prices of RON95 grade of petrol, diesel and liquefied petroleum gas.

Chia opined that the fuel price increases will cause inflation in the transportation sector and that will escalate prices in all sectors of the economy.

“Food will cost more and the increase in prices of daily groceries will certainly add burden to the ordinary citizens especially wage earners with families to feed, the elderly and also the  pensioners.

“Even our oil producing neighboring country Brunei Darussalam sells its fuel at a price that is 40 per cent lower than Malaysia so why can’t we have a similar pricing in terms of pumped fuel in the kiosk,” he said.

According to Chia, the sudden announcement by the Government and “lightning fast” implementation in less than seven hours  was a cheap and cunning trick by the Government.

If its intention was genuine, the hikes would have been planned and implemented in stages with prior full public notice, he said, adding, “this is an ambush tactic because the government is afraid of public reaction.”

On another issue, Chia said he was puzzled with the reason given by the Government with regards to the withdrawal of subsidies.

“The Government claimed that the subsidy withdrawal is to save the money yet it still insists to build the 100-storey tower. Just like the Petronas Twin Towers, this 1Malaysia Tower once completed will see all the government linked companies (GLCs) forced to rent out all the floors, thus reducing the cost of maintaining the project,” he pointed out.

“Where does it benefit the ordinary rakyat? What needs to be removed are not the subsidies but corruption which is costing the country at least RM4.0 billion annually instead of the expected savings of RM1.9 billion from subsidy cuts,” he said.

This certainly does not augur well with the 1Malaysia concept of “Rakyat Didahulukan Pencapaian Diutamakan” (people first development now), Chia lamented.