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Rise in Petrol and Diesel Prices

The Federal Government has evidently decided to mark the month of October by giving Malaysians a “gift”: by raising the price of fuel by 0.20 sen.

The price of RON95 and diesel was raised to MYR2.30 per litre and MYR2.20 per litre respectively.

This is just the most recent side-effect of the Federal Government’s callous disregard for the welfare of Malaysians and its failures in managing the nation’s economy.

No one—of course—denies that Malaysia’s finances need to be put in order.

However, the sad fact is that the livelihoods of too many Malaysians—from urban workers who need to get to work to fishermen heading out to sea—are dependent on fuel being affordable.

This is compounded by the fact that better public transportation remains a distant reality for most urban Malaysians.

Moreover, the upcoming imposition of the GST means that the price of fuel will soon become an unbearable burden for most middle- to low-income Malaysians.

Indeed, it is likely these groups who will be hit the hardest from the increase.

This is ample proof—if any more was needed—that the Federal Government’s claim that Malaysians are now enjoying a better standard of living is a cruel joke.

Make no mistake, there were scores of other items of wasteful expenditure—such as lopsided privatization contracts and uncorrected leakages—that could have been cut or reformed before the rakyat should have been burdened further in this manner.

But it would appear that UMNO-BN prefers to hurt the weak and disadvantaged rather than trouble the wealthy and well-connected.

Najib Razak’s administration cannot keep maintaining that it is a “People First” government when it seems to have no qualms about hurting the most vulnerable members of our society.