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by Lim Guan Eng
(Petaling Jaya, Thursday
): DAP calls on the government and Prime Minister Datuk Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to follow Singapore’s example of cutting the oil price by 6 Singapore cents per litre yesterday so as to pass on the 25% drop in international oil price these past 2 months to consumers. Oil has fallen US$2 this week to under US$59 as investors put money into other commodities and waited for signs Opec members would adhere to their pledge to cut crude supply. Why can Singapore pass on the reduced price of oil but not Malaysia?
International oil prices as fallen as much as 25% since its lowest level this year in October 20 at under US$57. DAP expresses disappointment at the government’s refusal to reduce the price of petrol locally despite the fall in international oil prices. Deputy Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk S.Veerasingam’s explanation that the government still has to pay huge subsidies ignores the huge profits earned by Petronas from high fuel prices.
The people has a right to enjoy the benefits from these oil proceeds as oil resources belong to the people and not to any particular company or individual. The government’s refusal to reduce the price of petrol despite more than 25% falls in the international price of oil shows the mismatch between supply and demand as well as the
Several major airlines have reduced their fuel surcharges in response to the fall in oil prices.
Virgin Airlines reduced its levy on international flights 14.2% or £5 to £30. Lufthansa has reduced its fuel surcharge by 16% for long-haul flights from €62 to €52 per sector. Even Singapore Airlines says it is dropping its surcharge by 10% from US$60 to US$54. Only Malaysian Airlines and Air Asia has not reduced its surcharges.
Failure to reduce oil prices would mark Abdullah’s 3 year anniversary in power as a disappointment in that his actions have not fulfilled expectations. His anti-corruption campaign has stalled with abuse of power and corruption worse than at any time since he became Prime Minister. His promise of wanting to hear the truth is shown to be shallow when he refused to listen to the academic conclusions and research of Professor Dr Lim Teck Ghee that the NEP should be abolished because the bumi equity based on market value has far exceeded the targeted 30%.
Even his promise of ensuring justice in the administration is found wanting by the legal fraternity when he refused to review the 1988 judiciary crisis not only to redeem the good names of the judges unfairly sacked but also restore independence to the judiciary. Malaysians are most affected by the poor business conditions, low salaries and high cost of living. Even if Abdullah can not succeed in increasing the rakyat’s disposable income, he should take steps to reduce their cost of living.
By reducing the price of petrol in tandem with the declining international oil prices, Abdullah can show that it is not true that oil prices in Malaysia only knows how to go up but not come down. It is unreasonable and unethical for certain irresponsible parties to continue to profit at people’s expense despite the drop in international oil prices. DAP urges Abdullah to reduce the price of petrol to mark his 3 years in office as well as remind the people that he still cares about the livelihood and difficulties of ordinary Malaysians.
* Lim Guan Eng, Secretary-General of DAP