Infernal Ramblings
A Malaysian Perspective on Politics, Society and Economics

Diesel Subsidy Uproar

Written by johnleemk on 10:12:19 am May 12, 2005.
Categories: ,

What's the fuss? The government upped the price of diesel by 10 sen, and the price of petrol by 8 sen. So? Our prices are still the lowest in the region. We need to tough it out. Not all of us need the subsidies in the first place, and prices will eventually return to more normal levels.

As a matter of fact, I think it would be better if all fuel subsidies were completely eliminated. Destroyed. Pound into the ground. Annihiliated. Obliterated. You get my drift. There's simply no point in them. The idea of just because we have money, we should spend it, does not make sense to me.

These subsidies allow Thais to smuggle cheap fuel into their country and sell it for a huge profit. It might be acceptable if this subsidy benefited Malaysians, but here it's clear that this subsidy doesn't even do that; the group that benefits the most is the Thais.

Some argue we need to subsidise the price of fuel so as not to drive the poor into even tougher financial straits. Well, I ask, what's wrong with giving them money or vouchers exchangeable for fuel? We don't need to subsidise the middle or upper classes. And remember, how are the rest of the world's industries and farms doing without these fuel subsidies? If we need subsidies to compete on a global level, what does that tell us?

We need to stop trying to fix a symptom and get down and dirty with a cure for this disease of subsidy-reliance. The sooner these fuel subsidies are phased out, the better for everyone. Remember, every ringgit that isn't spent fueling a BMW is a ringgit spent on scholarships or rural aid. Or, if you're cynical like me, spent on lining politicians' pockets.

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Infernal Ramblings is a Malaysian website focusing on current events and sociopolitical issues. Its articles run the gamut from economics to society to education.

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