MIRI: PAS Sarawak has received complaints that the cost of transportation into certain parts of the state’s interior had suddenly shot up due to the fuel price hike on Monday.
The 10 sen per litre increase imposed by the Federal Government for RON97, RON95 and diesel had resulted in multifold increase in costs of using hired-transporation on four-wheel drives into rural settlements, said PAS Sarawak deputy commissioner Jofri Jaraiee.
Jofri, who is Miri PAS chairman, yesterday slammed the bad timing of the fuel price hike.
“The Federal Government suddenly hiked the cost of all types of vehicle fuel on June 1, the first day of the Gawai Dayak harvest in Sarawak,” he said.
“During the festival, hundreds of thousands of Dayaks travel all over the state visiting their families, relatives and friends. In the rural areas, there are many who have no transport of their own and they relied on the hired vehicles to move around.”
Jofri said everytime there was a fuel price rise, transport operators would raise the costs of using these hired vehicles.
“Already the rural folks are burdened by the imposition of GST which had resulted in prices of essential foodstuff and daily necessities to increase.
“Now they are burdened yet again by another round of fuel price increase,” he added.
The new fuel price means RON95 and diesel now cost RM2.05 per litre while RON97 is RM2.36.
Jofri said it was difficult to understand why Malaysia kept raising fuel prices when neighbouring Brunei kept its fuel price at very low levels.
“Brunei is also a major producer of oil and gas like Malaysia but Brunei maintains low fuel price for its rakyat. In Brunei the cost of the best quality vehicle fuel is only the equivalent of RM1.41 per litre while in Malaysia RON97 costs RM2.36 per litre,” he pointed out.
Jofri said such constant fuel price hikes in Malaysia always burdened the rural poor and the lower and medium-income earners.