Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fuel price cut will have ‘little impact’

PETALING JAYA: It will provide some relief but will not have much impact — that sums up the sentiments of the public on the fuel price reduction yesterday.

City folk were definitely happy but many doubt that prices of basic necessities would go down in tandem with the reduction.

Bus and lorry operators said it did not really benefit them as prices of other goods had gone up.

Pan Malaysian Bus Operators Association president Datuk Ashfar Ali said the reduction in fuel prices would not affect bus operators.

“For us, it’s still the same. We are still paying the subsidised rate of RM1.43 per litre for diesel,” he said.

He added that bus operators had also not felt the benefit of lower fuel prices as the cost of other products were still high.

“When the fuel prices shot up early this year, the price of everything else — batteries, lubricating oil and tyres — went up. Now, even though fuel prices are down, the price of these items are not coming down,” he said.

Pan Malaysian Lorry Owners Association president Er Sui See said that while he was happy with the reduced diesel prices, lorry owners still would not be able to absorb the escalating transport charges.

“Only a quarter of the diesel we use is subsidised, so yes it’s good that diesel prices are down.

“But all the other costs that have gone up are still going up. We can’t absorb the cost,” he said.

He gave the example of tyres, which would cost 15% more from Nov 1.

Tutor Tan Chin Swee, 48, said: “The sudden jump in petrol price a few months ago resulted in a spiral effect which pushed up the price of many daily necessities. I doubt that the reduction can undo the inflationary impact that an ordinary person is now facing.”

“Recession and inflation are inherent in any economy and are things that we have to live with,’’ Tan added.

Manager Gobal Rajee, 46, said he was happy with the reduction but felt that there would be little effect.

“We hope the prices of other goods will go down as well, otherwise it really makes no difference,’’ he said.

Civil servant Karim Jaabar, 37, said it was nothing to rejoice about if the prices of goods remain the same.

Administrative executive Theresa Heng, 49, said it was better than nothing.

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