Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Ugly Malaysian

(Photo taken from African Safari Journals. Any resemblance to any Malaysians living or dead is purely coincidental.)

While I was at a play rehearsal last night I received SMS's telling me that petrol and diesel prices were going up by 30 sen a litre from midnight. I wasn't too bothered as my car takes 30 litres to fill up the tank to the brim. Later, when I thought about it, "Wah! 30 sen per litre times 30 litres. That's RM9.00 man!" So after rehearsals finished I thought I would drive out of the KLPAC to the Caltex station that was on Ipoh Road. When I approached I was surprised that there didn't appear to be a queue. Eh? Malaysians getting so blase about these things meh? The mystery dissolved when I pulled into the station. The owner had put up barriers at each of the pumps. And although the station was still open they weren't allowing anyone to fuel up. It was 11.15 p.m. So I thought, "Fuck it! Bastards!" and went to the Sentul Curry House for supper with the other actors. When I drove home past the Esso and Shell stations that were on the way there were long queues of cars waiting to beat the midnight deadline. It was 11.58 p.m. I guess a lot of motorists in Ulu Klang paid the new price for their fuel.

Closing pumps so that you can make 30 sen more per litre from other Malaysians? Unethical. Un-neighbourly. Downright wrong. So Malaysian.

I am sure that all weary Malaysians are bracing themselves for the onslaught of price increases. And in case you didn't know Mr. Water Spray Mouth has already announced that power tariffs will go up later this year. Chances are that a lot of things will go up by 30 sen more a piece just because fuel is now 30 sen per litre more. Always like that, right? Coffee and tea at coffee shops and mamaks will go up. Food surely will go up a lot. Have to transport right? Transport means fuel, right?

I don't even want to begin to think about the shockwaves to come. I think I will go to the pub and have a few pints before the price of those go up too.

But before I go another thing I am going to drink about is this...

This morning I read the papers about the flood victims in Shah Alam. Of how mechanics and workshops were making a killing from repairing and towing stranded vehicles from the flood waters. Tow trucks charged up to RM300 per tow. Take it or leave it. The stories reminded me of times when I watched CNN and BBC TV reports of floods and other calamities in other parts of the world. And how people came out to help their fellow citizens. I wondered why there weren't any such stories in today's papers about Malaysians helping Malaysians. Just because it is the thing to do for friends, neighbours, fellow Malaysians. Not as a chance to make money.

Baarger! You crazy or what? Got chance make money donwan ah? Niamah!


anjali* said...

This is taking "Carpe Diem" to the ultimate ugly badside. But that's the Boleh mentality mah. Who cares for long-term business idealistic - Flood like this don't happen everytime. Can kill? - kill kaww kaww.

Sad. So so sad. :(

KK said...

Can only blame our garbledment for this heartless act by adding more burden to the already suffering rakyat. Petronas makes billions every year where most rakyat is living in deficit. KNNCCB!

patrickteoh said...

That's right, anjali. Nobody cares. And that's what is wrong with Bolehland. If don't care how to boleh anything?

Blame the garment? Sure. But I blame them for bad to non-existant planning not for the price increase.

i've just said...

lol, patrick. good one with the pic.and about the caltex station, i think we can file a complain!

we malaysians are used to this to the stage where ppl just accept it. lol. and some ppl just take advantage of it.

be more afraid when AAB says no more increment this year, cos it's gonna be accumulated, and increase in one shot next year.

good luck to all malaysians. i'm leaving, on a jet plane.

Egghead said...

I think the Caltex took the "right to refuse service" way too far!

but hey! Malaysia Boleh!

debitor said...

hey, I dunno wat r u guys ranting bout. Our petrol is still cheaper than our kiasu neighbor and most other asean brothers ma. Look , be sensible ok.. the Monkeyjaan needs the increase so that Ayoyo Samy can build more MRR2 and landslide highway for the public. Next year like our fair weather friend Aaron who-is-abandoning-us-on-a-jet-plane says one shot increase to pay for the repairs. CHEERS ... and I vote.

rayhana said...

oh, that's so sad. :(

what happened to conscience... closing the pumps and reopening them just before midnight. please lodge a complaint.

there's this other thing about malaysians too though, when there's a petrol price increase, some will fill up even if it was only RM5!

blinka.Li said...

aiyoyo uncle, garment said the money saved up could be used for the benefit of the rakyat jelata ma..guess what, sure got more fountains at the roundabout, more toll plazas, more nice buildings to place those who talks not work. And for Caltex, i sure know their style, me rather stay at home to save whatever I had balance in the tank lagi bagus la!

patrickteoh said...

Hi aaron. I am definitely going to file a complaint with the Ministry of Domestic Trade. Ya, I know most of you will say Waffor la? But it's got to be done. These vultures can't be allowed to feed off us. You have the option to leave on a jet plane but for most of us this our home and we must fight to make it better.

Hi debitor. Sure our petrol is cheaper than Singapore or even Thailand. So? While you're at it you might as well say that famous Jit Murad line..."At least we're better off than Ghana." So be grateful.

Hi rayhana. They opened the pumps AFTER midnight to make the extra 30 sen. I didn't stick around to see if this Caltex station actually did that. They could have just closed for the night and gone home. After all it was just a matter of time. Their tanks are full at the old price and when they wake up the next day they will have millions of litres under their shop to sell at the new price. Oh how wonderful Malaysia is. And the food is good too.

Yeah you're right la. When I passed the Shell and ESSO stations there were long lines waiting to fill up and the time then was 11.58 pm. already. So what gives? Maybe Malaysians are generally so bored that anything that doesn't involve going to the mall, again, is considered fun. So queue lor. For fun. Can tokkok somemore and give my 2 sen worth.

Hi blink.li. You're the one with the most common sense. Stay home and conserve your fuel lor. I went to fill my car today. Cost me RM6 extra than what I would have paid at the old price of RM1.62. Ah well. The food is good here in Malaysia.

Bonnie said...

If only more Malaysians are ballsy enough to stand up, fight and make a difference.

If only more Malaysians are like you...