Thursday, June 5, 2008

My petrol pumping experience NOT!

Just yesterday (4th of June 2008), our Malaysian premier announced the inevitable news that was bugging our minds since a few months ago. Fuel price has always been going uphill and the government has been informing us over and over again about how it would not be able to withstand providing petrol subsidies anymore. So, yesterday, Pak Lah made the announcement that our petrol price would be increased to a whopping RM2.70/litre, compared to the previous RM1.92/litre. That is a 40% increase! Definitely not meagre at all.

Apparently, by doing so, the government is able to save up to RM56billion in subsidies, of which would be used on development and other food subsidies. I say this is just bollocks! I am not politician, neither am I an economist, but I am seeing an unjust treatment to the people of Malaysia here. True enough the price of crude oil is on the rise, and RM2.70/litre might still be one of the lowest in the region, but are we really ready to embrace the market oil price? Our country is not even close to reasonable standards in terms of public transportation. Those who are in the lower income bracket would be devastated to fork out an extra 40% in total petrol expenses, because they just have no other choice. By increasing the oil price without providing people with alternative, this is just equal to using brute force to squeeze money out of everyone! Tell me if this is not true.

Apart from that, we are also heavily taxed in our purchase of cars or vehicles, especially imported ones. If the government wants to be so FAIR and JUST, they should let us buy everything in market price and not tax us without giving it back! Seriously, other than those mega white elephant projects which usually focus in the city centre, I do not see where our tax money went to. Those are our hard-earned money and we're helping the government to develop but they're not helping us in return. I am really disappointed with the way things are run.

That aside, yesterday I got the news of the petrol hike and I told myself I should go fill up my tank since it was only 1/4 full. Coincidentally, I had a movie due at 7.20pm so by the time I left work at 6+pm I thought it was too rushed to go pump petrol, what with the massive traffic jam that was already building up. I naively thought that I could still make it after the movie, which was 9.30pm.

There I was, driving around at 9.30pm and I saw the first Mobil station with an extremely long queue. I was used to pumping Shell petrol so I was praying inside, hoping that the condition at Shell would be better. When I reached the second station which was a Shell, the queue was even worse than the first one, not mentioning the bottleneck it was causing to all the road users. So I frantically drove to the third Shell station, with the same condition happening. Finally, thinking that everywhere would be the same, I reluctantly settled for Esso instead, seeing that the queue didn't look THAT long. At that point, it was already 10pm and it started to drizzle! That was definitely the last thing I wanted to happen-raining that could lead to more serious traffic jam.

I waited patiently in queue for Esso but after 10 minutes I didn't seem to be moving at all! Another 10 minutes down the road and I was getting restless. Poor Saucer had to wait with me and he was starting to persuade me to just let it go. I was angry and snappy and irritated at the same time, thinking that the worst could actually happen. The worst being after waiting for say 1 hour, the petrol could have been finished up, or that I couldn't even make it to my turn before 12am, when the new price would have taken effect. *sigh* Saucer calmed me down again and even offered to pay me the price difference due to the extra price hike in petrol. He told me he would pay me the difference just to buy my time. =)) He was being sweet and nice but I was just cursing away. I guess now that I look back, I felt like a bonehead for even driving out in the first place, and wasting my precious RM1.92/litre petrol. :P

At 10.30pm, and still 30-40 cars ahead of me, I told myself, I wasn't going to make it at all. And I didn't want to spend the rest of the night waiting in the car, in the rain and wasting petrol. I've really learnt my lesson for waiting til the last minute to pump petrol before a price hike. During the previous price hike, I was in KL and I saw the exact situation at petrol stations and I laughed at them thinking that these people were so kiasu. Look who's the joke now. It's ok... RM30 lost but a lesson gained.

1 comment:

Bamboo said...

Being the lazy person that I am, it never really occured to me to pump in petrol on the day of the price hike announcement... with all the jams, cursing and risk of getting the car damaged, it just isn't worth it... of course, I have already pumped it to bursting on Tuesday when Pak Lah mentioned announcing the new price on Wednesday :P. I should be the one who's cursing cause I was caught in the car jam even though I did not want to pump petrol... took me 60 minutes to reach home! Anyway, I'm sure that you, as with all women is able to squeeze something out of your current budget to accomodate the slight increase :P