[Marxism] DAP (Malaysia) demands more subsidies and profit sharing from largest oil company

Muammar Kris Khaira kris at kriskhaira.com
Fri Mar 10 11:32:21 MST 2006


On the 28th of February, the price of petrol in Malaysia increased by  
30 sen/litre (an 18% increase). More info here:

http://www.aliran.com/ms/2006/0228.html
http://www.jeffooi.com/2006/03/fuel_price_grassroot_journalis.php
http://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/48156
http://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/48146

The following is from a mailing list for the Democratic Action Party  
of Malaysia, a socialist-democratic party; regarding the profits of  
Petronas, Malaysia's most profitable oil company.

On Mar 10, 2006, at 3:44 PM, DAP MALAYSIA wrote:

> ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
> ---
> This is the list for the Democratic Action Party of Malaysia. To  
> subscribe,
> send "subscribe" in email body to <bungaraya-request at listserv.net- 
> gw.com>
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
> ---
>
> Press Statement By DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng In Melaka On
> 10.3.2006.
>
> If A Non-Oil Exporter Like Singapore Can Give S$2.6 Billion Cash (RM 6
> Billion) To All Singaporeans, Especially The Poor, Why Can’t The
> Malaysian Government Do So When Petronas Has Earned Nearly RM 500  
> Billion
> Since Its Inception In 1971?
> ==========================
>
> If a non-oil exporter like Singapore can give S$2.6 billion (RM 6  
> billion)
> cash to all Singaporeans, especially the poor, why can’t the Malaysian
> government do so when Petronas has earned nearly RM 500 billion  
> since its
> inception in 1971?
>
> DAP will take up the offer by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad
> Badawi in his special briefing to 4,000 BN leaders in the Kuala Lumpur
> City Convention Centre on Sunday that the opposition can see him on  
> the
> 30 cents fuel hike. Datuk Seri Abdullah had said, "The Opposition can
> come and see us to learn why it was necessary to impose the 30 sen
> increase. We have nothing to hide. We have to be transparent."
>
> DAP hopes that the Prime Minister will show that he has nothing to  
> hide
> and is transparent by meeting the DAP delegation who wants to  
> impress on
> him the anger of the people at the explanations of the fuel hike.  
> Instead
> the government is seen as uncaring and unsympathetic of the  
> sufferings and
> extra financial burden placed on lower income groups wage earners  
> and the
> poor.
>
> The fact that BN has go on a mammoth drive to mobilize its 4.5 million
> members to explain the rationale for the fuel hike highlights how
> unjustified the increase is and the complete rejection of the
> government’s plea for the people to adapt and change its lifestyle as
> hypocritical and double-standards. There are 5 examples of such
> irresponsible behavior despite its assurances that it is  
> responsible in
> managing our country’s finances, implement prudent spending and good
> governance.
>
> One, is the failure to deal with corrupt officers who have profited  
> from
> the diesel subsidy at public expense. Fishermen received a diesel  
> subsidy
> by being charged at RM 1 per liter of diesel. Such diesel subsidy for
> fishermen rose sharply from 326 million liters in 2002 to 1.2 billion
> liters in 2005. However the amount of fish caught actually declined  
> from
> 1.29 million metric tones in 2002 to 1.2 million metric tones in 2005.
>
> Clearly someone is becoming extremely rich in selling this subsidized
> diesel illegally to non-fishermen. It is unlikely that fishermen  
> are the
> real culprits as they would be unable to be approved so much diesel
> unless they can prove it with the amount of fish caught. The most  
> likely
> suspects are officials from the relevant Ministry who approved the  
> supply
> of diesel to go up by nearly 900 million liters from 326 million  
> liters to
> 1.2 million liters. At an average difference of 30 cents from the  
> market
> price, the country has lost nearly RM 300 million to those  
> connected to
> the Ministry who abuse the diesel subsidy.
>
> Why is no action taken against enforcement personnel who allow the  
> amount
> of diesel supplied to go up nearly 3 times yet the amount of fish  
> caught
> to decline? Clearly the government is confusing policy with
> implementation resulting in the Malaysian public being punished with
> higher fuel prices for the failure in enforcement.
>
> Two, the government has asked the people to change its lifestyle yet
> refuses to practice what it preaches. The government must show  
> leadership
> by example by instructing all its Ministers and senior government  
> servants
> to take public transport and reduce expenses to live moderately and  
> cut
> cots. Any failure to do so would only reinforce perceptions that the
> burden of the fuel hike would not be shared equally by all but  
> would be
> borne by the poor and wage earners.
>
> Third is that Malaysians should count themselves lucky as we enjoy  
> paying
> one of the lowest price amongst South East Asian countries, except
> Brunei. There is a fallacy in this argument in that we do not want to
> compare fuel prices with oil exporters like Brunei but only oil  
> importers
> like Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia who are forced to pay higher  
> fuel
> prices. One can not compare an apple with oranges. If Malaysia was to
> compare our fuel prices with other oil exporters, our fuel prices are
> amongst the highest.
>
> Fourth, if our oil is expected to be exhausted by 2010, there is  
> greater
> urgency to let fuel price find its real market level of RM 2.46 per  
> liter
> so that we are prepared for the day when we have to import our oil  
> needs
> at US$65-70 per barrel. Removal of subsidies prevents market  
> distortion
> in the actual prices of our products, improve efficiency, cut down  
> losses
> due smuggling of our cheaper fuel overseas as well as forces the  
> economy
> to be more competitive and Malaysian workers more productive.
>
> However such removal of subsidies carries a large social cost to  
> the poor.
> To alleviate the high cost of living faced by the people,  
> especially wage
> earners and lower income groups, Petronas huge profits of RM 35.5  
> billion
> should be shared with Malaysians. Petronas profits of at least RM 35.5
> billion for the 2004-2005 financial year would allow every  
> Malaysian to
> take home at least RM 1,500 per annum. Instead of giving to every
> Malaysian, such profits should be given only to the needy ones.
>
> If Singapore, which is not an oil exporter can give S$ 2.6 billion in
> direct cash to Singaporean poor workers and lower middle-class in its
> 2006 Budget announced on 17 February 2006, why can’t Malaysians  
> benefit
> from our oil revenue. The time has come for 25 million Malaysians to
> benefit directly from this oil revenue. We have been denied our  
> rightful
> share for the last 31 years and it is only fair that Malaysians can
> benefit in the final four years left in oil revenues before we  
> become an
> oil importer by 2010.
>
> Fifth, would the people really benefit from the improvement in
> transportation system or development projects from the RM 4.4 billion
> savings in fuel subsidies as a result of the 30 cents fuel hike.  
> When the
> fuel price was increased from RM 1.37 to RM 1.92 per liter for  
> petrol and
> RM0.78 to RM1.58 per liter for diesel since May 2004, billions of  
> ringgit
> were saved in fuel subsidies. However the people did not see any  
> benefit
> from development projects or improvement in public transport.
>
> Malaysians would want to see some direct benefits from our oil  
> resources
> instead of it being squandered and siphoned off by cronyism and
> corruption. DAP considers it unacceptable and even shameful that an  
> oil
> importer like Singapore can distribute cash to its poor but not an oil
> exporter like Malaysia. These are the 5 issues that the Prime Minister
> must address and failed to adequately explain to the public.
>
> -LIM GUAN ENG
>
> http://www.dapmalaysia.org/




More information about the Marxism mailing list