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Bracing for higher cost of living next year, says Kho Teck Wan

This week the Federal government announced the float of RON95 price starting January next year. The Petrol Subsidy Program(PSP) on RON95 is only applicable to the eligible Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) recipients.

According to the Assistant Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, Chong Chieng Jen, the price of RON95 will increase by 1 or 2 cents each week until it reaches the market price. The decision to increase the price of RON95 gradually each week was made to reduce the cost of living and to avoid spike on the price of goods when the float of petrol price is introduced next year.

“I understand the rationale behind the controlled gradual price increase on RON95. It is done to avoid sudden spike of price in goods. However, I am puzzled by the Assistant Minister’s logic on how the gradual price increase on RON95 can reduce the cost of living. And will the 1 or 2 cents price increase continue if the global crude oil price is down?” asked SUPP Woman Central chief Kho Teck Wan.

Kho is in the opinion that although the price of RON95 is capped at RM2.08 in Sarawak starting next year, Sarawakians and businesses will feel the impact of petrol price increase as many goods and services in Sarawak are imported from West Malaysia. Furthermore, the businesses don’t receive petrol subsidy on RON95 like the BSH recipients, and the fuel to transport the goods and services is not limited to RON95 only.

In view of the increased cost of living and current economy condition, Kho urges the Federal government to consider all the possible impacts of floating petrol price on the overall economy, and cost of living in Malaysia. Perhaps federal government should also consider expanding the petrol subsidy to other fuel types and industries that heavily depend on the fuel for product and service delivery.

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