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High time Petronas answer to Parliament
Published:  Jun 13, 2008 8:58 AM
Updated: 4:54 AM

vox populi big thumbnail ‘It should be treated as just another GLC. If Petronas is clean, why worry about declaring everything to the public - its real owners?’

On PM makes RM2 bil cost cuts after fuel hike

Chris MC Jong: Everybody is talking about our oil reserves, how soon it will run out and how Malaysia will soon become an importer instead of an exporter etc. Have we all forgotten we are also a gas producer and that the gas price is tied to the oil price too?

In recent years, we have been reading about Malaysia finding new gas fields and that our gas reserves can last for another 50 years at least. Malaysia is said to be the biggest producer of liquified natural gas in the world. Even if we don't have oil, we will still have income from gas.

It is high time Petronas reports to parliament instead of just to the prime minister. If Petronas is clean, why worry about declaring everything to the public - its real owners?

It should be treated as just another government-owned company and the real owner of the government is the Malaysian public.

Sam: While others are busy concentrating on the current fuel price hike, let us not forget about the fuel sale ban on foreigners. I cannot sees to understand why has it been lifted. It should have been there from day one.

The PM also says there is still a RM0.30 subsidy per litre. So why are we still subsidising others?

Why has the ban been lifted ?

I think everyone around the world is laughing at us. Why? Because while we Malaysians are complaining about price hikes, fuel price hike and puny cost-cutting by government ministers, we are nonetheless still subsidising others who do not deserve it.

CH Siew: Why do the ministers and deputy ministers need paid holidays? With their pay and allowances, why can’t they pay for their own overseas holidays?

If they need a holiday they can jolly well save up for it and pay for their own holidays like everybody else. Why should they be paid for taking a holiday?

After all they already have paid annual leave. If they can’t afford it on their pay, then can take their annual leave and stay at home like everybody else.

Ir Lee L Cheran: I read with sadness the accounts concerning the plight and the effect the recent price increase in diesel and petrol has on the livelihoods of our people living in longhouses in Sarawak.

These longhouses are not fed with electricity supply like what we folks in the peninsular enjoy with a flick of the finger and they have to depend on using portable generators to light up their dwellings. For a mere two hours of light power, their diesel bill will now increase from RM400 to RM600 per month for each longhouse.

It is indeed heart-wrenching and distressing to hear that most of the families are unable to foot the diesel bills due to this recent price increase and are forced to spend their nights without power nor lights.

Do the governments (federal and state governments) have a heart for the daily suffering of these citizens of ours? Their plight has been going on for years and is now made worse. What is all this talk and rhetoric by the prime minister that he is eradicating poverty in the country and there will be no more poor folk?

I would like to suggest that some drastic and urgent action be taken to erase the pain and suffering of our fellow citizens as they have been caught in this situation not through their own actions. It is high time that the government goes to the ground to at least to carry out some humanitarian duties and obligations.

Aaron Yap: What if the world crude oil price jumps to US$250 per barrel instead of our economics advisers to the PM’s forecast of US$200? Would the PM then inform the nation that the government can’t afford to hold the petrol price ceiling at RM2.70 and it will be forced to increase the price again?

J Koay: Malaysia exports high-grade crude oil and imports a lower-grade for our usage.

Within less than two years, the price of crude oil has risen five fold, hence the rise in transport charges and food prices.

This does have a significant effect on the lower income groups. There will be a hike in utility tariffs again, too, thanks to TNB which reaps in tens of million of ringgit a year.

Why can't TNB trim down and make a smaller profit and help the rakyat by absorbing part of the fuel price hike with no increase in their tariffs? The BN government has failed the rakyat .

Yeap Cheng Liang: Instead of cutting the ministers’ salary and expenses, I think we should ask the PM to make our cabinet slimmer. Japan, one of the world's top economic powers, has only 23 ministries, 17 ministers and 22 deputy ministers.

Malaysia has 29 ministries, 32 ministers and 38 deputy ministers. Malaysia’s GDP is only US$357 billion compared to Japan's US$4.22 trillion. Do we need such a huge house for the PM and so many ministers to serve our tiny economy? It's a waste of taxpayer's money and does not make sense economically.

A Sad Rakyat: It is time we rakyat stand up against the wrongs done to us. Our PM is squeezing the rakyat to get more money to make sure he survives. Money is squeezed from the rakyat by the removal of fuel subsidies are is being used to buy loyalty from Sabah and Sarawak.

Our PM is promising ‘sweets’ to every one who can ensure his survival. Should the rakyat stand by and suffer whilst our PM makes us pay for his premier position as PM and head of Umno?

Why should the rakyat pay for his maintenance, his expenditures and extravagance? I plead to the rakyat, please stand up and let our voices be heard.

On PM: No more fuel price hikes this year

Marion Tharsis: Sounds too familiar - a promise that has no merit or credibility. We were told that there would not be an increase until August or September. But see what happened. BN's statements are to be taken with a pinch of salt.

They say one thing and then do just the opposite. Too many contradictory statements from the cabinet members these days with most of them having no substance, rationale or intelligence.

We have been forewarned that another increase is in the pipeline and may come sooner than expected with the fury of a natural disaster.

I still cannot find any logical explanation as to why our fuel prices at the pump should increase in tandem with the world's current trend in the price of crude oil when we are an oil exporting country and that, too, of a superior grade that fetches a higher price than normal fuel.

I do not think you have to be an economist to figure it out. Unless the revenue is used to pay off massive debts accumulated by the previous PM or that the current PM was handed an almost empty pot when he took office. It is anybody's guess And that is what precisely we are doing, playing a guessing game.

Let us reap this golden harvest while it is good and not squander it. Let us change for the better. BN has lost its credibility.

Lemon: I am just taking what our PM said with a pinch of salt. No even worth my time commenting. ‘Not getting married’, ‘Not dissolving parliament’, ‘No fuel hike after election’ and now (ta da!) ‘no more fuel hike this year’.

Mooshie Mooshie: Mr PM, do not think you and your cabinet are doing us a favour. We do not trust you and will never do. You have lied about your son not being involved in contracts from Petronas.

You and your cabinet said the fuel price rise will only happen in August 2008 . What more can you bluff us on? We have had enough of you. Frankly, we think you and your cabinet are a practical joke.

On Lim: Why stop at paltry 10 percent cut?

Kelvin: All these so-called BN leaders are good for nothing and we the rakyat can do better without them. Sincerely speaking, we do not need their services at all. There are a lot of competent people out there that can outshine the BN ministers.

It seems the BN leaders are more interested in how much pay and allowances they and their spouses can enjoy. And when the rakyat is facing severe economic hardship, they only offer to cut their allowances by 10%.

They think that they still deserve these allowances. For goodness sake, I say they are already being overpaid for their poor performance to date. The rakyat is burdened by their excessive pay and allowances.

The country is facing food shortages and real inflationary pressure. Unless these issues are tackled seriously, before long, the full weight of these problem will fall upon the shoulder of the rakyat .

One extreme implication may be civil unrest during which everybody loses. The BN government has yet to come out with a solid programme to forcefully mitigate the aforementioned problems.

It is time for the government to buck up before it is too late. If the GE13 were to be held now, I think BN would be history.

On Bar Council startled by judge's 'damning' disclosure

SH Huang: Indeed, Justice Ian Chin has dropped a bombshell. His revelations have confirmed what was revealed in the Lingam Tape royal commission of inquiry. Now, is the government going to sweep it all under the carpet or is it going to dig up the dirt?

Just imagine the many injustices done to so many people. Will any right-thinking man tolerate all these and just look the other way? Will the prime minister take integrity to a higher level and risk even his position as PM by pursuing the matter further?

Let the floodgates be sprung open and let all those who cause suffering to others be drowned in the flood. If the PM truly believes in honesty, truth, integrity, then he will be prepared to risk all and start the investigation.

His name is on the line. Does he want to leave a legacy of justice and integrity when he leaves office? Or he is contented to drift along and be called by posterity as a man without guts?

On Judicial boot camp: 'Both PM, Zaid wrong'

Lilian Tan: De facto law minister Zaid Ibrahim's argument that it would be a waste of taxpayers' money to investigate claims by Sabah and Sarawak High Court Judge Ian Chin that Dr Mahathir manipulated the judiciary left me aghast.

How can this man who has pledged ‘to restore the integrity of the judiciary’ pull back from the brink of uncovering a case that promises even more damning disclosures than the Lingam tape case?

It's embarrassing, no doubt, but why should any of us believe the Barisan Nasional government is serious about changing for the better if it won't even probe an allegation which directly implicates our ex-prime minister?

This is a very serious allegation about a very serious offence. If not investigated, it sends some very clear messages out to Malaysians and the world.

Firstly, that Malaysian law exempts the mighty and powerful from any probe or prosecution for wrongdoing. And secondly, that after the clear vote cast against Barisan Nasional on March 8, the government has learned nothing – choosing to turn a deaf ear and blind eye instead of sincerely trying to right wrongs which have been done.

When so much wrong has been done to wreck the country's judicial system, it's simply not enough to say: ‘We [...] have to make sure that these things do not happen again’.

Unless we fully investigate and make known to all exactly how and why these things happened, and who did what, we can be very sure they will happen again.

Anthony: How can judges be not probed for wrongdoing and be brought to full justice under the law which they are suppose to uphold and administer? We citizens, the lay people, would be prosecuted for any wrong doing even though we do not understand fully the law.

Joe: ‘No need for an inquiry into the alleged threats to the judiciary...,’ says Pak Lah. Tell that to the countless people whose lives were tragically altered by the possible miscarriages of justice.

How about those who were penalised or are still rotting away in the prisons because the judgments of their cases could have been unfairly influenced?

What about those poor souls, literally, who are not around to cry foul about their unjust demise brought about by a possible corrupted judiciary?

The seriousness and extent of the damage of this alleged tainted judiciary is mind-boggling and scary. This could be just the tip of the iceberg. I shudder to imagine what opening the 'judicial Pandora’s box' may reveal.

On EU to proceed with ban on M'sian seafood

Chyogasw: In 2005, I have tried to introduce a range of confectionaries made by a major player in Johor to a super huge chain retailer here in Finland. I took loads of samples after having been assured by the Malaysian CEO that their products were top of the line and he further assured me that they comply with all requirements both domestically and internationally.

Having been convinced, I paid for the cost of freight to Finland all by myself, and with confidenceI approached a Finnish retailer. The first thing he asked to me do was to check with the manufacturer on the kind of artificial ingredients used.

He provided me with an EU-approved list of the ingredients. He advised me further to ask the manufacturer without having to refer to the list.

That I did and I got a list from the Malaysian manufacturer and found that out of the 10 ingredients used by the Malaysian manufacturer, nine were on the EU list of the banned ingredients.

When I commented on this to the manufacturer and pointed out my disappointment, the CEO from Johor said while the rest of Malaysia and ‘the world’ does not complain about the ingredients used, he was ‘amazed’ with EU standards.

He further told me that the company would offer me a new price list (of course, a higher one) to accommodate the approved the ingredients.

Since then, I have advised all my family and friends to stay away from that company’s products. They are amongst the biggest players in Malaysia and for me a dangerous one as well.

Malaysians, it s time to question what you buy and what you are offered. EU standards may be higher and the products costlier but than again it should be seen in the context of ‘prevention is better than cure’.

On Penang CM: Koh's playing mind games

Thequay 007: Gerakan used to be the government of Penang. However they lost it recently.

I only have this to say to Koh Tsu Koon - lighting does not strike twice at the same place.

Koh is trying hard to make a comeback but the odds against him are too big. The people of Penang will never support Gerakan again.

Gerakan always kowtowed to Umno and this is the type of political party that we reject.

On Dorian Gray, Pak Lah and Scomi

Nga Seg Son: If I am to understand correctly, Oscar Wilde's Dorian Gray was perennially youthful due to his bloodsucking of fair maidens. Not too sure whether Angela Lansbury fell into his clutches in the black and white 50s movie.

Wonder whether the context used by A Ghani Ismail on Pak Lah is correct here.