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6 Tips to Combat the Price Hike on Fuel (without Buying a New, Fuel-Efficient Car)

Posted: 05 Sep 2013 02:40 PM PDT

It's been coming for a while, and now, it's finally here.

On 2 September 2013, fuel prices in Malaysia rose considerably due to the reduction in subsidies by the Malaysian Government.  As a result, both RON95 petrol and diesel now cost 20 sen more for every litre – which is an approximate 10% jump compared to the previous prices.

Whilst there's no faulting the Government's intention (which is to strengthen the nation's fiscal deficit position by reducing fuel subsidies), there is no doubt that the price hike would affect the lives of Malaysians.  For those who drive a long way to work or live on shoestring budget, that additional hundreds of Ringgit to fork out on fuel every month could even lead to drastic changes in lifestyle.

Nonetheless, the new fuel price is now a reality; and if this is affecting you in a big way, you will need to react accordingly to help ease the increased financial burden of owning and driving a car.  Obviously, spending money to keep your car in tip-top condition and buying a more fuel-efficient car are some of the things you could do.  But not everyone has the funds to do so over the short term.

In this article, we'll explore some viable methods the Malaysian public can adopt to combat the recent price hike on fuel, without spending additional cash from your wallets:

1) Drive Less Aggressively

Everyone knows that aggressive driving (such as rapid acceleration and braking) uses more fuel, but what you may not know is that it could decrease your fuel efficiency by a whopping 33%!  According to the US Department of Energy, aggressive driving at highway and in town reduces your gas mileage by 33% and 5% respectively.  To put it in Malaysian context, you'll be burning off RM24 for every 35-liter tank of RON95 petrol simply by driving with too much aggression on the North-South Highway!

What to do        : Drive safer

Your Potential Saving    : Up to 33%


Fuel price hike wrong approach to fiscal reform: Institut Rakyat

Posted: 05 Sep 2013 10:53 AM PDT

SEPT 5: In February this year, Prime Minister Najib Razak stated that the price of RON95 would be sustained in spite of the rise in global oil prices.

Come April, Ismail Sabri Yaakob, formerly minister of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism stated "Petrol is a major essential item and if the government increases the price, it will result in traders resorting to hiking their prices as well and this will burden the people," said Ismail.

That month, Najib assured Malaysians that subsidies would continue under his administration as he was focused on controlling the rising cost of living. Then Barisan Nasional won the general elections in May. Four months later their promises have evaporated.

There are several problems with Barisan Nasional's excuses for this week's fuel price hike. These are typical for its 'act first, deal with the problems later' approach:

1. Shifting to more targeted assistance for the poor

If the motivation to help those who earn below RM3,000 is genuine, then why make them suffer higher prices for goods and fuel in the months between now and when Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) x.0 is implemented?

Going by past performance, there is typically a lead-in time of about one to three months between tabling a budget and the distribution of BR1M handouts. How will the poor deal in the interim?

Furthermore, BR1M handouts are occasional ad hoc affairs, whereas fuel consumption is an ongoing daily expenditure for the rakyat. BR1M is not a solution for those experiencing an uncomfortably high cost of living from increased fuel prices. We also should remember that many Malaysians are out of pocket following Hari Raya festivities.

If we take the generous assumption that ad hoc cash handouts are a sustainable remedy for chronically low incomes, the gentlest approach for the rakyat would be to only reduce the fuel subsidy after the cash handout is applied. But this would still leave people deprived until the next round of handouts is approved.

Deputy Finance Minister Ahmad Maslan admitted as much in July when he said that, "With the [projected] BR1M increase to RM1,200 [from RM500] this will help cover household expenses for two months. The people will need to find their own means for the remaining 10 months."

Perennial dependency on cash handouts will not reduce the subsidy bill. Najib spent RM2.9 billion of public money on BR1M 2.0. With the promised increases the BR1M bill will increase to RM6.96 billion. This RM4 billion increase in BR1M will more than cancel out the estimated RM1.1 billion the government expects to save from rolling back fuel subsidies.

Thus, the net result of the BN's actions will be to increase both inflation and the subsidy bill.

Read more at: http://www.institutrakyat.org/fuel-price-hike-wrong-approach-to-fiscal-reform/

Kredit: www.malaysia-today.net

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