|Petrol, diesel prices up - pix and story by The Malaysian Reserve
With Subsidy Cut, blogger HishamH has penned what I think is the best defence of the 20 sen increase in RON95 and diesel prices. The latest increase, he reminds us, has put Malaysia on the verge of abolishing the fossil fuel subsidies entirely. The quantum is reasonable and the timing couldn't have been better, he argues:
If support for the disadvantaged is the goal, subsidies for petrol and diesel are an incredibly inefficient and wasteful way to go about it. Most of the benefits of energy subsidies goes to higher income households, not the lower income group ... On average, the top 20% gain six times more from energy subsidies than the bottom 20%, and that petrol subsidies are the most regressive (i.e. the benefit climbs higher the higher your income level). Cash transfers are a far more efficient and effective way of supporting the poor.
HishamH makes mincemeat of DAP economic expert Chong Zhemin's attempt in No Reason ... to compare Malaysia's increase in fuel prices with a reduction in India and the UK. Basically, he's saying that Zhemin is trying to chong the readers lah.
For years now bloggers like HishamH, SatD, Jebat Must Die, A Voice, Big Dog and even Bujai, to name a few, have been helping the government explain its economic policies and defend the execution of these policies and they are still doing it despite the fact (yes, it is a FACT) that the government spends hundreds of millions of ringgit on clueless consultants, PR agencies and e-con advisors. I wish the government would see that: saving a few million bucks so that you can splash it stupid is not on. One day these bloggers will grow tired of you. Like Annie says, we ain't superheroes, man!