More heat on the people

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  • Thursday, 02 Jul 2015

these poor folks living in the outskirts of Miri City are among those who are always badly hit by any fuel price hikes. Stephen pic

THE social media is filled with angry complaints that the costs of transportation and daily necessities had suddenly shot up due to the fuel price hike yesterday.

The federal Cabinet is getting whacked from all quarters. Not only are the rural folk angry, urban folk are also up in arms.

The social media is filled with critical comments from citizens.

People from all walks of life are blasting the Federal Government for not only hiking the fuel prices but also for the secretive manner in which the hike was imposed.

Instead of giving advanced notice to the rakyat, the Domestic Trade, Consumerism and Cooperatives Affair Ministry left it to the people to find out the latest prices when they went to refuel yesterday.

Many people from the Muslim community are angry because of the bad timing as they will be celebrating Hari Raya Aidilfitri later this month. The higher fuel prices will mean additional expenses on fuel and other daily necessities.

It is common practice already for traders to blatantly capitalise on the slightest fuel hike to increase prices of goods and services multifold.

On June 1, the hike of 10 sen per litre imposed by the Federal Government for RON97, RON95 and diesel had resulted in additional increase in costs of hiring four-wheel drives for transportation into rural regions.

That was the day 1.5 million Dayaks in Sarawak started celebrating Gawai Dayak. Politicians from the opposition, and the rakyat in general, had hit out at the bad timing.

There was also no advanced announcement on the increase then.

During the Gawai festival, thousands of Dayaks travelled 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 have to rely on the hired vehicles and other transportation to move around.

Already the rural folk are burdened by the GST, which had resulted in higher prices of essential foodstuff and daily necessities.

It is difficult to understand why the nation keeps increasing fuel prices when neighbouring Brunei has kept them at very low levels.

Like Brunei, Malaysia is also a producer of oil and gas.

In Brunei the cost of the best quality vehicle fuel is only the equivalent of RM1.41 per litre while in Malaysia RON97 costs RM2.56 per litre.

The constant fuel price hikes has always caused a great impact on the rural poor and the urban lower and medium-income earners.

It is most frustrating that the government is heaping more burden on the rakyat without even explaining the rationale behind such moves.

The ringgit has stabilised somewhat, the global oil market is not sliding, so why the need for a fuel hike this time around?

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