PUTRAJAYA: The fuel price cuts will hopefully
ease the burden of the people as they celebrate Hari Raya, says
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Abdul
Shahrir said the Government would be paying slightly
more in fuel subsidy as the average crude oil price would be only
seven sen cheaper but the Government had decided to absorb the
difference and lower petrol and diesel prices by 10 sen.
Asked whether the Government would implement a
free float system for fuel prices, Shahrir said it was too early
to think of that although it was one of the matters discussed.
Earlier, Shahrir announced that the consumer price
index (CPI) from January to August increased by 4.8% to 110.4 compared
with that of 105.3 in the same period last year.
The CPI for this August registered an increase
of 8.5% from 105.9 last year to 114.9. The CPI for August increased
by 0.2% when compared with July, he added.
Shahrir noted that the drop in fuel prices on
Aug 22 was not reflected in the CPI in August.
Shahrir said the September CPI may not be lower
as the Government had allowed an increase of 30% surcharge for
buses during the festive season.
On the issue of tainted milk products, Shahrir
said his ministry was assisting the Health Ministry.
“We should not only rely on en-forcement
officers but wholesalers and retailers familiar with the products
from China should also highlight those items which may contain
melamine. Then we will be able to solve the problem effectively,” he
Pan Malaysian Bus Operators Association president
Datuk Ashfar Ali said that while the 10 sen reduction was good
for the public it would not make any difference to bus operators.
“We still get subsidised diesel at a set
price,” he said.
Fomca president N. Marimuthu said consumers should
continue to remain thrifty.
“For the Government, they must continue
to plan for better public transportation as the fuel issue will
continue to affect us in future,” he said.
He said he did not expect prices of goods and
services to drop in line with the reduction as the cost of production
and raw materials had risen.
Pan Malaysian Lorry Owners Association president
Er Sui See said: “The reduction should have been more. But
nevertheless, it is better than nothing.”