"... the present fuel subsidy scheme could not go on as it was costing the Government RM80bil a year".
To be fair to the person who made the above statement, yes, the price of crude has gone over USD90 and may hit the century mark soon. To be fair to Malaysians, Malaysia is a net exporter of crude and any price increase in the price of crude means more money for the country, not Petronas. One thing has got to be made clear. Petronas belongs to the people. It is not somebody's grandfather's company where they only need to pay tax like any corporate citizen and the rest of the money is theirs.
Now, people are talking everywhere about this strange suggestion that the rich pay more for fuel and the poor pay less. Hey, don't get me wrong, I am not against everything that the government does. If it really works that way, its okay with me but then the rich could always pay more, that's why we call them rich. I am just wondering, like many of my friends, how are they going to implement this?
A friend said to me something that made sense, at least it made sense to me. They are worried about the amount they have to come out in subsidies because that could curb their spending. If their spending is not curbed then they could carry out more ridiculously priced projects where they, their friends and kins could reap vulgar profits. This being so, they must find a way.
Since there are more poor then rich in this country, the present subsidy helps the poor more while the rich are smiling. If they were to cut the subsidies then its their friends and kins who stand to gain from the extra projects they could implement while the poor would be burdened by having to pay extra either through more expensive fuel or more expensive road-tax. As for the rich, you can triple the cost of fuel and it doesn't amount to much for them, after all, they are rich aren't they?
Now lets see how they are going to implement this? I am not an economist or a brilliant businessman so I could only see 2 strategies that they may take to implement this.
The first one is a very-very silly and confusing strategy where you pay for fuel at different prices according to the cc of your engine. How are they going to do this, I don't know and I agree that this is silly. If implemented, you could always fill your kancil up and transfer the fuel via a hose to your Mercedes or Honda Accord or Lexus. Now who is going to stop the service station operator from mistaking a Rover or Jaguar for a Savvy or Kelisa?
The above strategy doesn't make sense so lets kill it. The next one is to increase the road tax. Road tax were cut about 2 years ago and now they may have to increase it. If this strategy is employed, I can guarantee you that it is not only going to go to pre-cut days but may double that.
I don't believe that the subsidies amount to 80 billion ringgit. as they claimed. Lets half it and make it 40 billion. Lets say they want to half the subsidy to 20 billion meaning they have to earn 20 billion somewhere. 20 billion divide by all the vehicles in the country comes to quite a hefty sum. If they chose to exempt motorcycles than its gone case for all car-owners.
If you really want to make the rich pay and ensure the poor are not hurt then why not impose a levy on the rich or on the price of luxury cars. Levy on luxury cars will not net them 20 billion thats for sure.
So how are they going to do it? Please somebody enlighten me, the suspense is killing me. I am anxious because I need to know, how else are they going to make my life miserable. The prices of essentials are already driving me crazy.
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