There is this big plantation belonging to my family. It has lots of durians. The caretaker appointed by my family (and who is being handsomely paid by us) harvests the fruits and sells it in the open market without any consultation with the owners of the plantation. The durian prices have been going up and the caretaker has been getting richer and more arrogant.
We asked the caretaker for some durians, and he got us some and charged us for it - he said that it costs money to pluck the fruits. He told us that he recognised that we were the owners of the plantation, and hence had subsidised the price of durians for us.
Recently, he told us that he could no longer continue the subsidy as the price of durians had increased a lot, and that we had to be prepared to pay "market" prices. We don't understand why we have to pay "market" prices when the fruits belong to us. The irony is that the increase in durian price has increased the caretaker's wealth by a huge amount.
He is now sitting on pile of money, which is growing everyday, waiting to squander and waste it on his failing friends and relatives. My family, the rightful owners of the source of his ill-gotten wealth, can only look on and pay a huge price for the durians from our own plantation or eat less durians. We are powerless and cannot get rid of this caretaker.
That's the story of Petronas and the Malaysian citizen. The nation's oil wealth belongs to the people, not to the PM, Mahathir or his cronies. The argument that the government is subsidising oil is ridiculous if not stupid - it's like taking, if not stealing, one's money and giving it back to the same person as a loan and charging an interest.
Mohd Kamal Abdullah is perfectly right, Make Petronas accountable to rakyat . As a first step, get rid of Dr Mahathir from Petronas. After all, he is the advisor and the massive price hike must have received his approval if not his advice.