If it wasn’t enough that people were caught in flash floods today, they also had to contend with a sudden fuel hike effective 2 October 2014, as announced by the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry yesterday. The price of RON95 petrol and diesel fuel is now up by 20 sen.
The Ministry said the fuel hike is “in line with the subsidy rationalisation plan by the Government to ensure that the country’s finances remain strong.” The Government revealed that it would still need to spend more than RM21 billion on fuel subsidies this year.
The new price of RON95 petrol is RM2.30 per litre, while diesel is RM2.20 per litre. RON97 and LPG prices remain unchanged. Current unsubsidised market price for RON95 is RM2.58 per litre and diesel is RM2.52 per litre.
The last fuel hike by a similar margin, was on 2 September last year.
The Government said that they will continue to provide incentives to the lower income group to “alleviate their burden.” It did not reveal what these incentives were.
Throngs of cars scrambled to petrol stations to fill up before midnight as people bemoaned the price hikes and rising living costs.
Others, meanwhile, said it was pointless to queue for an hour for meagre savings of RM8-10 per full tank.
20 sen or otherwise, the hike will likely cause a snowball effect on transportation costs which will inevitably raise prices of your teh tarik, toilet rolls and your next packet of nasi lemak.
Funnily enough, the hike has been implemented when international oil prices have plunged to two-year lows (US$91.16 per barrel, as of 1 Oct 2014) amidst global oversupply.
Perhaps we should still be grateful to the powers that be that the hike isn’t 50 sen or 1 ringgit. Or perhaps we should rethink our mode of transportation. A two-wheeler sounds good, no?