(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!