Can flip-flopping Badawi-led UMNO government claim that today's pump price of fuel is subsidised? It is time for Malaysiakini to digest this issue and highlight the same.
The Star carried the subject 'Falling oil price holds mixed fortunes for Malaysia' yesterday. I had wanted to pen my thoughts yesterday but I guess I was kept busy pondering over what a shrink prescribed over the recent issues of pendatangs.
Anyway, quoting the Star: A rough estimate showed at US$105 per barrel, the local pump price for the widely used RON 97 petrol grade would be around RM2.25 per litre after incorporating the 30 sen fuel subsidy by the Government. At US$100, the price would be lower by another 10 sen.
The flipside, the Ringgit has been weakening. Currently at about RM3.46 to the greenback, it means that consumers will not enjoy much reduction in fuel prices as it was when the ringgit was about RM3.30 to the greenback.
A fall in oil price is good news to the rakyat but it definitely isn't pleasing to the ears of Badawi's administration. That's because Badawi's administration depends on oil income to cut budget deficit.
At the end of the day, although we are a net exporter of oil, not only do we, the rakyat, do not get to enjoy its benefits as compared those from other oil producing nations but we pay for the mismanagement of the nation's resources. To compound the misery, we are paying high taxes for the cars we buy. A double misery to be a Malaysian under the mismanagement of UMNO.
It also crossed my mind how this flip-flopping Badawi-led UMNO government will do in order to cushion the fall of oil prices. Will they allow the Ringgit to weaken? A weakening ringgit will mean a compensated income due to exchange rates. At the same time, it will be a strong excuse for the government to maintain high pump prices of fuel.
As it is, the calculation remains a mystery and a secret except the Finance Ministry. One can only do rough estimate the way the Star did. Taking into account the current oil price is at about US101, the rough estimate would be:
US101 X RM3.40 divides by 159 = RM2.16/litre
Costs and transportation of fuel is estimated at about 30 sen and this amount equals to the subsidy claimed.
At current price, can flip-flopping Badawi-led UMNO government claim that they are subsidising the current fuel prices? Could this be the reason why they dare not mention subsidy lately? And even when they promised that the earlier 'savings' would be used to improve public transportations, did they?
This is not called subsidy. This is called cheat!