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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Making Sense Out of No Sense

Of all the things that are coming out in the local papers on the recent fuel price hike, only this article made sense:

KUCHING: Unions in Malaysia have no choice but demand for a salary increase of at least 50 per cent, said the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) Sarawak Division yesterday.

Lo, who is also the CEO of Sarawak Bank Employees Union, said contrary to government claims, petrol was actually cheaper in Singapore, Japan or even the US after taking into account one of the fundamental principles when comparing prices across different countries - purchasing power parity.

He said simply put, Singaporeans still pay much less for their petrol because Singaporean workers earn Singapore dollars and not Malaysian ringgit.

He said even in absolute terms, for example, a typical clerical employee in Singapore earns S$1,200 per month compared to RM900 in Malaysia and RM600 in Sarawak plus Singaporeans only pay about S$2 per litre.

“Per capital income of Singapore is RM100,000. Malaysia is only RM20,000. Singapore does not produce a drop of its own crude oil,” he added.

He said MTUC called on the government to give a full transparent and detailed disclosure of the fuel subsidy as well as the profits of Petronas, independent power producers and other oil companies, oil palm and timber companies every year.

He claimed that the government had ‘forced’ the public to own cars by mismanaging the public transport sector, inflicted a high price on cars, burdened motorists with extensive toll roads, suppressed wages and now wanted to be paid market price on petrol.

Read the whole article here.

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