The gist of the matter

NST yesterday reported this:

RON95 petrol will be available at all petrol stations by Sept 1 and will be sold at RM1.75 per litre.

It will replace RON92 petrol, and push RON97 petrol into the premium product category, where it will be sold at RM2 per litre, 20 sen more than its current price.

It is true that many cars can run on RON95 without experiencing knocking. It is also true that both fuels with burn equally clean since the ‘detergents’ in the fuel is the same.

I welcome the introduction of a ‘cheaper’ fuel which would give us some saving, even though the saving is only 5 cents per litre.  At the same time, I am puzzled by the increase of price of Ron97 to Rm2.00 per litre, an increase of more than 10%.

My contention is : why must we increase the price of RON97 to RM 2.00?

Let’s say you are now staying in a 2 room flat and pay a monthly rental of RM200 a month. Now,  the management informs you that from September the first, you can choose to stay in a one room flat for RM180 per month. Your 2 room flat will still be available, but if you want to continue to stay in a 2 room flat, you have to pay RM250 per month.

Or a simpler analogy. Let’s say your daily wan-tan mee costs you Rm4 a bowl and have 5 balls of wan tan in a bowl. Now suddenly the vendor is introducing a new package whereby you can eat his wan tan mee at Rm 3.80 but with only 4 balls of wan tan inside. If you want back your usual 5-wantan bowl, you have to pay Rm 4.50..

That is the gist of the matter.

If this is not price raising , I do not know what  is..  All of  us went through arithmathic classes. You do not need to be an accountant to realise that this is price increase. We can all see that the same products we are using and would like to continue using is going to be more expensive.

The last round when petrol pump price increases , inflation shot up. This increase is smaller- only 20 cents- but coming at a time when everyone’s pocket is shrinking, it will certainly hurt.

I have no qualm of using RON95. But since  we are a petroleum producing country and world petroleum prices- even though is higher than 6 months ago- is still very much lower than last year,  I see no reason for another round of price increase. Perhaps the new minister in charge would care to postpone this increase?

If not, one thing can be sure. Our daily cuppa of coffee in coffee shops is going to cost at least ten cents more even if we switch to Ron95.


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Disgusted
    May 14, 2009 @ 18:35:45

    Besides, petrol issue as described above, also involve another gist of the matter.

    That’s rumors in government circles, swirling around that ex-MCA secretary Ong Ka Chuan will be appointed as ambassador to China.

    A candidate rejected by the party and a politician with no credible record except shady tactics on power play. No track record of business acumen, lacking statesmanship and not even considered a distinguished Malaysian.

    Except noted during the 308 for having quoted said:

    No government development fundings for Opposition captured states.

    Begging for BN votes (from Chinese voters) during the 308.

    A ex-party secretary who did not show impartiality in approving party membership and branches.

    Well, will the supremo of this nation makes another fatal mistake in appointing this warlord to China, as ambassador, representing Malaysians??

    For sure, his appointment will not win back Chinese votes, not now and definitely not after the appointment.



  2. Disgusted
    May 14, 2009 @ 18:51:57

    As expected, 37 public objections to appointing Ka Chuan as ambassador (posted in Malaysia Insider)



  3. annoyed
    May 14, 2009 @ 19:37:58

    This gist of the problem(s) is (are) that Malaysia is run by those “simple brain with 4 active limps” or in Chinese 头脑簡單, 四支发达。


  4. Disgusted
    May 14, 2009 @ 21:23:51

    The most expensive wan tan mee is sold by a shop at Jalan Loke Yew, (Name: Hing Kee). Costs RM5.50 to RM7.00 a bowl depending on ingredients like “char siew” or mushroom fried chicken leg.

    The most expensive sugar cane (one glass) costs RM1.80 at Jalan Peel.

    The most expensive prices at Cold storage (Eastern Mall) where two cucumbers can cost about RM3.00.

    Nothing is cheap since the price of petrol gone up and despite having dropped, the prices maintained. And our beloved Ministry concerned….in deafening silence.

    Well, our enforcement to monitor over-pricing and fleecing customers is actually “top class” but ranking from “bottom-up”.

    Look at the fast-food, wonderful illustrated pictures, the bun (photo) looks good and “big”.

    But only an “illusion”. You don’t get the real size nor the picture of succulence of taste. Just imagery!!

    Ha, ha this is a world of illusion (in the commercial world).



  5. klm
    May 14, 2009 @ 21:47:54

    Dr. Hsu.

    I found this site who had some charts from household income survey done by dept of stats in 2007. The charts gave a breakdown of income by families.

    You can roughly figure how many people can be affected by the price increase. Draw a new poverty line and you have the number.

    I tried to locate the data from dept of stats and from EPU. They dont put the data on their website.


  6. Disgusted
    May 14, 2009 @ 22:10:41


    Don’t expect anything from EPU, these are lackeys doing the “hush hush” job instructed by top power brokers in the corridor of power. Even their Chinese officials working there are kept in the dark over their inner discussions and policies (on bumis).

    I suggest CPI, Prof Lim Teck Ghee has the figures which CPI specializes. Central Policy Initiatives (blog). Get in touch with Prof Lim.

    For your additional information, CPI is also organises sub-committees and one of them are studying what you are talking now.



  7. Peter Yew
    May 15, 2009 @ 17:53:43

    Dr Hsu,

    I’ve always suspect the whole exercise is to camouflage the excuse of raising fuel tax under the disguise of giving cheaper price for a poorer quality fuel with the assurance that it is good even for luxury cars. That is backward thinking and pulling wool over our eyes. I also think this is cheap trick, unless the government change the pricing to 1.50/1.80 for ron95/ron97 which should not cause an uproar.

    For years we are used to pumping ron97 and now the minister (I wonder if he can provide scientific proof for this) said ron95 can do the same job but cheaper. Why didn’t sharir thought of this before? We could have saved ourselves millions using this ‘new’ fuel.

    Charging ron97 at rm2/litre is definitely a rip-off. The argument is if you still want to use it, go ahead and pay the higher price. after all, i’ve already told you that ron95 is good enough for your car, but if I have to spend more on maintenance because my carburetter fouls up faster, or my spark plugs fail earlier, or my pistons clogged up suddenly, where can i send my claims? The government is conveniently quiet on this.

    My SIL who is in automative line told me cautiously that IF I service my car regularly then ron95 should be OK. Thousands of motorists may not be able to service their cars as per the book so I think the auto repairers are going to be a happy lot. For me, I think I will keep an accurate schedule as I plan to save 5 sen/litre come september.

    On a happy note, I wish to report that I ‘accidentally’ pumped a full tankload of ron92 into my 9 year old camry last month. The car was blissfully unaware I gave it inferior food. This did not tempt me to continue using ron92 and I’m back to ron97.


  8. Kopi-o-peng
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 14:08:19

    Star Buck and its conspirators is the root of all these evil.


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