Friday, October 17, 2008


In Malaysia, they are finally reducing petrol prices for just the second time but extremely little (RON 97 petrol is reduced by 15sen to RM2.30; RON 92 petrol is reduced by 10sen to RM2.20; and diesel is reduced by 20sen to RM2.20).

In Singapore, the prices fell by 5 cents a litre for petrol and 10 cents a litre for diesel yesterday. It was the ninth straight cut since July. Now, 92-,95- and 98-octane petrol cost S$1.813, S$1.846 and S$1.92 a litre while diesel is now S$1.603 a litre.

Petrol prices down five cents, diesel 10 cents
By Channel NewsAsia
Posted: 16 October 2008 1336 hrs

SINGAPORE: Pump prices are down again - the second time in just over a week. The last time fuel prices were cut was on Oct 7.

On Thursday, Shell took the lead by reducing prices at 10.30am, followed by Singapore Petroleum Company (SPC) and ExxonMobil at 11.30am, and finally Caltex at noon.

All four companies have cut petrol prices by five cents per litre for all fuel grades, and 10 cents a litre for diesel. Premium 95 grade now stands at S$1.846 a litre before discounts, while the price of diesel is reduced to S$1.603.

The latest revision follows a series of petrol price cuts since July 2008, after a drop in crude oil prices.

Crude oil futures were down more than 50 per cent from record highs of above US$147 reached in July, when prices rocketed on fears of supply disruptions.

In early London trade on Thursday, Brent crude slid below US$68 a barrel to the lowest level in more than 15 months, as slowing energy demand took its toll.

Brent North Sea crude for November delivery slumped to US$67.17 a barrel - the lowest level since mid-2007.

New York's main futures contract, light sweet crude for November delivery, was down US$2.06 at US$72.48 a barrel after sinking as low as US$71.21. - CNA/yt/al

What goes up just stays up
Friday October 17, 2008

THE price of fuel has been further reduced to RM2.30 per litre for Ron 97, and though this is a welcome move by the Government, I feel that it could be brought down further as global prices have been tumbling quite drastically.

While everyone will welcome the price reduction, it is disheartening to note that prices of other goods and services are not affected.

I do not expect the price of roti canai and teh tarik to come down, and neither do I foresee a cut in the cost of transportation.

The suggestion by the Prime Minister that consumers and consumer associations start playing their part by demanding better prices is not going to work.

It cannot be denied that consumers have the unwitting power to demand better deals but this is easier said than done.

As much as we would want to play our part in reducing our expenses, it is a foregone conclusion that we are at the mercy of the businessman.

Even in school canteens, students cannot get a reasonable meal for RM2. Parents will feel the impact most because no responsible parent would want to deprive his children.

Most parents will not hesitate to spend on their children even if it means that they will end up without much savings at the end of the day.

The Government and consumer associations can come up with all kinds of measures to reduce prices on essential goods and services but the ultimate controllers are the business people.

A simple example is the fuel stock controversy. When fuel prices shot up, there was ample stock for everyone. Fuel dealers assured the public that there will be no shortage.

But when the price went down, they blamed the shortage on the consumption surge for the Hari Raya holidays.

The dealers even said they stood to lose as much as RM20,000 per day because of the mere 10 sen price reduction. How come they never complained when the price went up by 70 sen? Who is trying to fool whom?

At the end of the day, there is nothing much consumers or consumer associations can do.

Remember the day when the Federation of Malaysian Consumer Associations went all out to declare a “Zero Spending Day” but it fell flat on their face? Why? Because life has to go on.



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