On the fuel price hike…

The first major protest was held last Friday, to begin just after Friday prayers. Being a weekday, not many were ‘demonstrating’ their displeasure, but the powers-that-be came out in full force anyways, to maintain order… Or so they claim…

The truth being, it felt like intimidation. I suppose it was psychological warfare, as the sight of those fully laden FRU trucks does make one feel rather queasy…

There is more to come. More protests, more demonstrations, or at least until the rakyat learns to live with this recent hike… The Pakatan Rakyat boys are planning one every now and then, to lead to big one on the 5th of July 2008. It was initially planned for the 12th, but due to tactical considerations, has been brought forward by a week. You know lah, Malaysians are usually ‘hangat-hangat taik ayam’ – or simply put, will lose interest if it drags on for too long…

Well, if you’re in town and feel like a free shower, do come along and voice your unhappiness on the 5th of July. After all, how will those in the corridors of power notice our plight if we don’t bring it to them?

Wishing I’m in town for the ‘big one’ – Jasmine.

ps – Saw one of those VIP fellas this morning, with their outriders and entourage… Wouldn’t it be cheaper if they all traveled in one big bus?? 😛

pss – Apologies for the inarticulation of thoughts today… fuel tank is running empty, and so are the idea-coffers…



  1. I agree on your stance on subsidies. It’s economically inefficient and will create a distorted market. What I proposed is an even drastic measure. Pull back all petrol, diesel and gas subsidies within a 5 to 10 year period. At the end of it, everybody will be paying global market price PLUS taxes. The taxes can be used to finance more important area such as health, security and education. I’ll come with a rough calculation later in my blog.

    To off set the problems of high fuel we have just to provide a good transport system. For a fast and short term solution, you just have to provide them buses and shaded bus stops.

    The cost for a bus is roughly RM300,000 (You can fill around 40 people comfortably). I think a good bus route is roughly around 60 mins in length within city limit and 90 mins from outside city limit. Both with not more than 10 stops.

    Currently RapidKL buses covers around 45-50 routes. But looking at the road maps, I think we need around 250 routes (that’s 2500 stops) to properly service 60-70% of the Lembah Klang population. There’s currently around 4 millions staying in Lembah Klang. If you can service 70% of it, that’ll be 2.8 millions. There’ll be an average of 2.8 mil/2500 stops = 1120 people per stop. A good wait for a bus should not be more than 5 mins, thus in an hour you’ll get 12 buses, that’s = 12 x 40 = 480 people per hour. Thus 1120/480 = 2.3 hours. I think, that’s an acceptable period of time to move 2.8 million people. Basically using my laymen calculation, you’ll need 12 buses x250 routes = 3000 buses. 3000 x RM300,000 = RM900 millions. These buses will last you at least 10 years.

    The cost of building a shaded bus stop is roughly RM15,000. 2500 x 15,000= RM37.5 mil.

    The cost of paying the drivers is 3000 x RM1,500 x 12 month = RM54 mil per year. But of course you need more drivers for backup around 10% more. So that’s 3300 x 1,500 x 12 = RM59.4 mil. You’re basically looking at creating 3300 jobs that’s able to support a small family of 4 people. That’s 13,200 people to benefit directly.

    Let just guess that per day, the cost of fuel for the buses (let’s use NGV) is around RM200. So, 3000 x 200 x 365 days = RM219 mil per year. Maintenance should be around RM30,000 per year per bus, so 3000 x 30,000 = RM90 mil

    So basically we’re looking at an initial CAPEX of RM 1 bil with a year, with roughly RM360 mil of OPEX yearly to increase the quality of life for 2.8 mil people living in Klang Valley for the next 10 years or so. Not that much really, seeing that we can spend billions on a couple of submarines, while god knows how much on maintaining it.

    And sorry for the long comment.

  2. 🙂

    Appreciate your long one, it makes perfect sense!!

    And on top of improving public transport, the moolah can be channeled elsewhere, especially where it is needed more – education, healthcare, public safety…. The list can go on and on…

    Personally, I don’t mind taking public transport, as long as it’s reliable, timely and safe. But then again, sometimes it feels like even that is too much to ask for…

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