“When Najib First Became Finance Minister In September 2008, Petrol Price Was RM2.55 Per Liter”

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When the price of RON 95 went up 7 sen this week, the blame game begins with PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli urging the government to introduce petrol subsidy by year-end.

Rafizi said in a press conference yesterday that this is the highest fuel price recorded in the country under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's administration, urging the government to introduce a 20-sen subsidy for every litre of fuel for December and January.

Putting the allegation in perspective, political analyst Lim Sian See (LSS) compared petrol price increases and subsidy mechanism under former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad compared to Najib in a recent Facebook posting.

"When Mahathir first became Prime Minister in 1981, the price of petrol was 89sen per liter," LSS said Mahathir raised it six times during his tenure and "by the time he retired as PM, petrol price was RM1.35 per liter - 52% higher than what the price was before he became PM".

"Not once did Mahathir ever reduce petrol prices in his 22 years as PM.

"In the year 2002, Mahathir and Muhyiddin said that petrol subsidies were unsustainable as Malaysia's oil production is being overtaken by our own consumption - hence petrol prices needed to be raised," LSS described how Mahathir had admitted that fuel subsidies are unsustainable.

"When Najib first became Finance Minister in September 2008, petrol price was RM2.55 per liter for RON97 and RM2.40 for RON92," LSS said Najib gradually reduced the price to RM1.80 but the urgent need to reduce subsidies saw the petrol price being floated in Nov 2014.

Yet, LSS said that when the price increases, Najib is blamed but no one said a word when the price dropped to RM1.60.

"At this RM2.31 price, it is still cheaper than the RM2.55 per liter when Najib first became Finance Minister," LSS reminded that petrol in Malaysia is still among the top 17 cheapest in the world.

However, LSS points out that Pakatan Harapan's alternative Budget 2018 also no longer offers blanket fuel subsidy.

Pic: FacebookPic: Facebook

"You must also take note that Pakatan's alternative budget for 2018 also no longer have blanket fuel subsidies but will only give a 20sen reduction to owners of motorcycles and cars below 1,000cc.

"Even the opposition now knows that blanket subsidies for petrol does not benefit the country," LSS said.

Read More: How Much Are M'sians Paying Compared To The World?

- mD