Government Over-Reacting To Global Oil Market, Says Mukhriz Mahathir
Instead of restructuring the country’s subsidy package according to the volatile global market price, the authorities concerned should have formulated strategies to cushion the impact, he said.
He described the petrol price increase by 78 sen per litre and diesel by RM1 per litre as too drastic.
“The rakyat is already burdened by the rising cost of living. We cannot justify the increase by saying that our fuel price is still lower than Singapore. “We cannot compare with Singapore, as their per capita income is three times higher than us,” he said, adding that the people were not prepared for the additional burden.
He appealed to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to look into the possibility of imposing the fuel increase on staggered basis.
“If Pak Lah is not up to it, please make way for someone who is willing to do it (impose measures that would ease public burden),” he said.
Abdullah had not taken into consideration the feelings of the rakyat when he made such a drastic decision, which had a spiralling effect on consumer goods and food.
“Although we read in papers that the economy is thriving, men on the street are not feeling it. They also do not have the means to absorb the sudden increase in fuel price,” he said.
He called on the authorities to formulate a workable solution to avert a crisis. “We can look into unconventional methods to address the problem. For example, during the Asian financial crisis, Malaysia pegged the ringgit to shield currency onslaught. During that time, we were criticised for ignoring the principles of economy. But such unconventional measure proved to have worked in our favour,” he said.
Mukhriz also criticised an article that highlighted Singaporeans expressing relief that the Malaysian government would not imposed a ban on sales of fuel to foreign-registered vehicles at petrol stations located within 50km from the border.
“It sounds ironic, as if we are doing this for the Singaporeans, not for us (locals),” he said. (The Star)