Wednesday, June 1, 2011


It's the first day of June, but already the spins does not seem to end. One after another. First was the brouhaha over the rare earth refinery due to start operation in September this year. Funny thing is, the residents staying near to the plant was not made aware of its existence - in fact Malaysians did not have a clue - until an expose made by a foreign news - which awaken us. 

And then somebody has the gut to tell us not to be too emotional. Not to politicize the issue. But looking a the pictures and information from the news - looks like the plant was in construction for more than a year. So why the secrecy? The plant is so near to a residential area - isn't the residents there deserved to be noted of its existence - considering this is not your typical palm oil factory or textile factory (though there are numerous cases of toxic waste dumped in our sewerage system  well, that's story for different time). 

Then off course the 'hottest' news around. The so-called subsidy rationalization. Is it a coincidence that no MSM carries the word 'price hike' - though that is what it is all about. You can camouflage however you want it - but is still boils down to an increase in prices - which will definitely affect all. First was the rationalization of the sugar subsidy which increases the price by 20 cents. The justification is that it is still among the cheapest among the region (comparison being made in RM, though a Singaporean who earns in RM). The currency conversion is driving me crazy!

Then the anticipated price increase in the RON95 petrol. A couple of years ago, the price was increased by 70 cents - as the petrol was USD140 per barrel. Now it is hovering around USD120 per barrel and still no price reduction, instead just increase and increase. Guess the saying is right  in Malaysia, what goes up NEVER comes down.

I am in danger of sounding like a broken record here. But then if we really are serious about the removal of subsidies, then please make sure that the market is really free. Not controlled by some chosen cronies. If we are to pay heavily for our petrol, then please make sure that there is no protectionism which resulted in certain brand of cars being shoved in our throat. The tax structures currently meant that it cost and arm and a leg to buy CBU cars...or even CKD of foreign brand. 

Just hoping that I do have to see my doctor with elevated (blood) pressure....