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Thursday, December 04, 2008

"The one with the new fuel agenda..."

The issue of fuel pricing never seems to not be in the limelight these few days. Naik jadi isu, turun pun jadi isu

A member of parliament during their proceedings yesterday expressed their thoughts on a new system of fuel-pricing, where it's pricetag is governed solely to the discretion of pump owners and station operators. In other means, giving full control and liability to the likes of Shell, BHP, Esso and our own Petronas when it comes to fuel charges.

Although on the exterior this idea seems to antagonize the new global economy situation, I can't help but perceive that the notion itself allows the government to no longer play a role in the monopoly of the world's most precious commodity. To put it bluntly; another BIG problem out of their hands. Sure, such an administrative power as the government would still retain authority over policy and implementation but this brings with it many other speculations. One being the adversity of the increase in more blatant corruption in our current political arena, already immensely tainted with money laundering. This new pricing system, if implemented would easily allow this to happen; with the government no longer dipping their fingers into how fuel is priced but can significantly affect the decision making. This also puts into perspective another worrying trend; the occurence of fuel cartels no different from the likes of OPEC, only they comprise of petrol station operators throughout a state or God forbid, the whole country. Among themselves, they can uniformly decide on a tag by themselves behind closed doors - leaving consumers on the losing end and the government having their hands tied together. Because fuel is a commodity so essential that some countries thrive on its existence, it is not an impossible scenario that in the future Malaysia would be governed by the bane of these cartels and not the government itself.

However, the advent of the new system can also bring wonders on the other end. A system such as this is something vastly common in the raging telco-wars around the world. A complex yet widely practised system in which a diverse account of conglomerates compete among each other to provide the cheapest and most reliable service to their customers. This in turn promotes healthy competition, and can later serve as a benchmark in quality management for the benefit of the people. Such implementation can be crucial for the development of a more globally competitive market for the country. Prices will be determined through buying power, in the traditional die-hard concept of cost versus demand. Having this in circulation, it will provide more equality to consumers living in small towns and kampungs where automotive usage is at its minimum, and living operatives are scarce. Today an average farmer in Bentong pays the same petrol price per litre as a millionaire in Damansara. The current market constitutes a more wholly approach; and this is sought to be inequal to some minorities.

On a personal note, I think that this system will be faced with a lot of negative feedbacks from the people. We Malaysians are very much resistant to change, and more likely won't trade our current livelihood for another. The government should really reconsider the notion, as its implementation will greatly affect the procurements of the whole country. I feel that we are still not ready for this yet; our mentality still can't process full independence. Although hard to admit, we are very much living off the government and can't live without it supporting us.


1 comment:

Mokrish said...

improve the public transport system...force people to use it'and keep the price low...i am sure people will think twice before using the car.

Ini kita...nak gi bangunan pentadbiran pun naik kereta...