It's rather telling about Malaysians. Once our pockets are hit, then we hop up and make some noise.
But at least these events are raising political awareness.
I promised to respond to a comment from Grace Chang who brought up some valid points and from whom, I would also like to seek further clarification.
Firstly, Malaysia is not part of OPEC- because of one simple thing- we don't actually produce enough to be one of those countries you listed out.
Secondly, we produce sweet crude, which is infinitely more valuable than the sour crude these countries crank out.
No dissent there. In fact, in a previous post, I mentioned that:
"We export this very high grade petroleum in exchange for lower grade petroleum from the Middle East. They have bigger oil reserves, but ours are of better quality. So we actually make a profit when it comes to our oil ventures."
Because we are also a smaller country in terms of size and population compared to some of the other OPEC countries, we don't require so much fuel for our citizens.
If we didn't have to cover up for all those shenanigans the government indulges in, we could be more highly subsidised, believe you me.
But what was your point in making those statements, Grace?
Its better to export it out and make a killing and thusly subsidising all the govt's nonsense (Petronas contributes to 70% of the country's revenue). Also- most importantly, RESERVES... if we don't stash up, you can say goodbye to drivnig around or having electricity in 15 years.
The best thing Petronas has ever done for us is to slow down drilling and exploration so that we can maintain our reserves.
I don't understand why you would advocate "subsidising all the govt's nonsense" as you put it. To be honest, enough is enough.
As for reserves, at the moment, the powers-that-be don't really give a hoot. They won't be around by the time we run out of it, anyway.
If the government was really concerned about our fast-depleting reserves, they'd have engaged in other methods of reducing fuel consumption nationally.
For instance, they should have allowed the usage of hybrid vehicles in this country. These vehicles seriously reduce the consumption of fuel and are extremely efficient, both environmentally and economically.
In the US of A, Toyota Prius and Honda Insight have been around for over 5 years. Even Singapore has hybrid cars now.
Hybrid technology is amazing. Regenerative braking can be used to recapture energy and stored to power electrical accessories, such as air conditioning. Shutting down the engine at idle can also be used to reduce fuel consumption and reduce emissions.
I own a Toyota currently. I don't know about other car companies, but Toyota believes in updating its customers with its latest offerings. Some time last year, it sent me a notice to expect the Toyota Prius very soon.
It's been over a year and zilch. Nada. Zero. Ling. Pujiam.
If the citizens require less petrol, then Petronas makes less profits. So at our expense, we're forced to pay for higher prices without having cars with good fuel consumption.
I'm not sure if Petronas has actually slowed down drilling and exploration. Petronas Carigali is a subsidiary solely dedicated to exploration, development and production of crude oil and natural gas both at home and abroad.
In fact, there is speculation that Kelantan is sitting on substantial oil reserves. Hence, the government's obstinately determined moves to take over the Kelantan administration.
Speculation and rumours have a nasty habit of emerging as the truth in Malaysia.
Also, before we're too quick to look at all this negative talk- imagine this: some foreign O&G company like Shell and Exxon-Mobil comes to peddle their fuel at us- who used to subsidise that? Petronas, that's who.
I have nothing against Petronas. In fact, I might even be proud of it, be it more properly managed and put to better use.
I know for a fact that they have brought in a lot of foreign consultants which they pay USD20,000 a month.
I'm not happy about the hike as well, but things could be a lot worse. I just like to look at both sides of the coin and think about the bigger picture.
How much worse could it get?