Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism Minister Hasan Malek said the below in a press conference when asked to comment on the fuel hike.
“If we do a calculation, the increment is minimal, If there is going to be an impact (on inflation), it will be minimal. It is not big.”
Hasan Malek lied through his teeth when he said the fuel hike is minimal. His ministry issued a statement on Wednesday confirming that the current market price of RON 95 is RM2.58 per litre. This means that the government is subsidizing 28 cents per litre of RON95 after the price hike.
Although the Finance Ministry had denied reports that GST will be imposed on petrol, insisting a decision has yet to be made; Malaysians are under no illusion that petrol will be exempted from GST.
If the fears of GST on petrol are real, the petrol price would increase to RM2.44 after 6% GST is added on, making the petrol price just 14 cents short of the current market price.
On Wednesday, Reuters published a report on a monthly conducted poll on 30 energy analysts on the oil price forecast in 2015.
Let me quote the report from Reuters as below,
“Energy analysts have made the largest downward revision to their oil price forecasts in almost two years, a monthly Reuters poll showed on Wednesday, with the marked weakness in the price of Brent seen persisting into 2015.”
If GST is imposed on petrol and the world crude oil price continues to fall as predicted by energy analysts, Malaysians could potentially pay a higher than market price for petrol in 2015.
This would also mean that Putrajaya is not only prepared to abolish fuel subsidy in total but also to start collecting taxes on Malaysians fuel consumption which is a shame for an oil producing country like Malaysia.
I urge Najib to immediately clarify if GST will be imposed on petrol and stop ducking and weaving on this issue. Najib cannot wait until budget 2015 is tabled to answer this simple but crucial question. After the unjustified fuel hike, Malaysians want an immediate answer as to what the future holds for us in 2015.
Media Statement by Chong Zhemin, DAP Perak Economic Development Bureau Chief and Political Secretary to the Taiping MP on 3 Oct 2014