(Image source: Malaysiakini)
It is just so wrong…
It is reported that a massive anti fuel hike rally will be held on 2nd July 2008. From Malaysiakini:-
Thousands of people would be mobilised for a mass protest against the shocking increase in fuel prices at the iconic KLCC Twin Towers on July 12.
Organisers Coalition Against Inflation (Protes) hopes to gather 100,000 people to call on the government to reduce fuel prices to its original levels before the hike today.
“We believe that with such a drastic hike in fuel prices, we will get the support of the masses.
Well, I could be missing something here but the way I see it, this proposed protest rally is simply pointless, a waste of time and money and certainly illogical. It is simply not the same with last year’s BERSIH and HINDRAF’s rallies where the rally was for the uphold of ideals. The only thing “ideal” about fuel price is the complete removal of subsidies.
The Government increased the price of fuel, not because they had an itchy bum or someone had said “I had an “oily” dream”. Any increase in price will go down as an unpopular move with the people. Still reeling from the hard whack they got from the last general election, the Government knows that they have made a decision that will only invite another whacking.
It is not a secret that the international fuel price has been steady rising for sometime now (read wikipedia entry here). As to how much of it has impacted Malaysia is however not clear for we are also oil producing country. We should be able to enjoy the high “fluctuations” in fuel price and yet we are still paying through our noses for many basic things. Where all the money has gone to? Let’s keep the issue of mismanagement and wastages aside for now.
Much has been riding on wasting public funds to keep the local fuel price artificially low. There is a better use of the money elsewhere in nation building – education, health, housing, employment, etc. At end of the day, the subsidy has to go! Keep things at the actual but realistic price but if it is not within your control, then there is nothing much anyone could do – unless the whole world decided to do things otherwise. International fuel price works the same way.
So, what is the point of oppositions and NGOs hope to achieve with doing a massive street protest on the fuel price hike? Other than creating awareness (something that ordinary Malaysians have already know about it), what else the organizers hope to achieve? Able to pressure Pak Lah to reduce the recently increased fuel price? Well, that is not going to happen now, today and probably for forever! Unless of course if the Government wants to do a populist move, they can always dump public funds to keep the fuel price low but at what price?
Instead of wasting the effort to organize protest rally against the fuel hike, the organizers should organize a street protest for something that the Government DO have control over with, namely the following:-
Increase of toll price (where is the impact of international price on this, other than greed & arrogance?)
Increase of price of basic food items (it is a mystery that basic items like rice and palm oil is grown locally and yet we are facing shortages. Who is doing the sabotage?)
Spending of public funds on wasteful projects (like sending a tourist to an expensive trip to space. What’s next? Sending a monkey to space in the pretext of “Malaysia Boleh”?)
Spending of public funds on unnecessary expenses (like all paid learning trip to Europe for Government officials. Just look at state of Selangor for fine examples)
Gross misappropriation of public funds for the benefit of large corporations (like cronies paying lower than market price for public property – clue: IPP)
Mismanagement of funds for personal use (you may not realize this but it seems like we are paying taxes so that politicians can enjoy a luxury life – new plane, unwanted renovations, etc)
And (in relation to Malaysia) many more…