Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Fuel hike: 78 sen more to RM2.70 per litre -

The government has announced that petrol price will go up by 78 sen at midnight - a 40.6 percent jump from RM1.92 per litre to RM2.70.

Drivers' reactions on petrol price hike -

Petrol prices will be increased effective Thursday. Syawalludin Zain gets some views from Malaysian drivers at a local petrol station.

Malaysia revamps energy price system, risks backlash - Reuters

By Soo Ai Peng

PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia (Reuters) - Malaysia announced on Wednesday a broad overhaul of its energy price system, sharply raising fuel and gas prices but taxing palm oil and power producers in a move that would drive inflation to a 10-year high.

The reforms would save the government 13.7 billion ringgit ($4.23 billion) but risk further stoking public anger against Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, already fighting for his political survival.

Petrol prices would rise 41 percent to 2.70 ringgit a litre and diesel 63 percent to 2.58 ringgit from Thursday, Abdullah said, in a reform that would eventually lift Asia's second-cheapest pump prices to market rates.

Power distributor Tenaga Nasional's tariffs would go up by as much 26 percent while the price of gas supplied by state oil firm Petronas to the power sector would be more than doubled, he said.

"We try our best," Abdullah told reporters in the country's administrative capital near Kuala Lumpur.

"This is not an attempt to be popular, we cannot satisfy everybody, naturally people will not be happy."

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Govt Saves RM13.7 Bln From Restructuring Of Subsidies - Bernama

PUTRAJAYA, June 4 (Bernama) -- The government will be able to save RM13.7 billion a result of the restructuring of the subsidies on petrol, diesel and gas and from the levy that will be charged on independent power producers and palm oil manufacturers, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

He said the increase in the federal government's revenue as a result would be used and distributed for the food supply guarantee policy (RM4 billion), cooking oil subsidy (RM1.5 billion), subsidising import of rice for uniformity of price of the staple in Sabah and Sarawak (RM0.4 billion), subsidise flour (RM0.2 billion), bread subsidy (RM0.1 billion) and contributions towards subsidising petrol, diesel and gas (RM7.5 billion).

He said the steps taken to restructure the subsidies were efforts in the direction to ensure market prices reflected reality, improving market efficiency and to encourage Malaysians to save on energy resources.

"The commercial and industrial sectors will be more motivated to implement measures to make their operations more efficient while households will practice prudence in using energy and avoid wastage," he said when announcing the restructuring of fuel subsidies at his office here Wednesday.

He also announced an increase in the threshold for service tax for restaurant services outside hotels.

Restaurants outside hotels which have an annual turnover of more than RM500,000 have to pay service tax at the rate of five per cent.

"There has been complaints that the threshold (RM500,000) is too low and that foodstalls in rural areas also can achieve it.

"To ensure the people are not burdened by the service tax of restaurants operating outside hotels, the government has agreed to increase the tax threshold for them from RM500,000 to RM3 million," said Abdullah.

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Petrol, Diesel Prices To Increase At Midnight Tonight - Bernama

PUTRAJAYA, June 4 (Bernama) -- Petrol and diesel prices will go up by 78 sen and RM1 per litre respectively at midnight tonight, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced Wednesday.

The prime minister said the new price for petrol at the pump would be RM2.70 per litre and diesel, RM2.58 per litre.

Abdullah told a news conference at his office the Cabinet had agreed on a cash rebate for Malaysian owners of private cars and motorcycles to ease the burden of the rise in the fuel prices.

"A cash rebate of RM625 per year will be given to owners of private cars of engine capacity of up to 2,000 cc and pick-up trucks and jeeps of up to 2,500 cc.

"Owners of private motorcycles of engine capacity of up to 250 cc will be paid a cash rebate of RM150 per year," he said.

The prime minister said the cash rebate would be given to the owners of the cars and motorcycles when they paid or renewed their road tax.

He said the cash rebate would cover cars and motorcycles for which the road tax was renewable between April 1 2008 and March 31 2009.

The prime minister said the cash rebate would be given in the form of money order at post offices nationwide beginning July 1 2008.

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Rembau election petition struck out - The Star

By Sarban Singh

SEREMBAN: The High Court here struck out an election petition challenging the outcome of the Rembau parliamentary seat won by Umno Youth deputy chief Khairy Jamaluddin in the March 8 polls.

Judge Datuk Mohtaruddin Baki on Wednesday dismissed the petition with cost, saying that there were too many defects in the petition filed on April 25 by PKR supreme council member Badrul Hisham Shaharin, also known as the blogger “Chegu Bard".

"There were many allegations made .... For me, all the petitioner was doing was to cast his net wide enough hoping to strike something," he said in his ruling.

Khairy had polled 26,525 votes in the election, defeating Badrul with a 5,746-vote majority.

Khairy was making his electoral debut while Badrul had contested for the Rantau state seat in 2004 and lost.

Mohtaruddin said the petitioner had also failed to prove that any alleged irregularity by the Election Commission or its agents could have changed the outcome of the election.

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Shahrir: New fuel subsidy scheme only in August - The Star

By Manjit Kaur

KUALA LUMPUR: A new fuel subsidy scheme will be fully implemented only in August and today’s announcement is only one of the steps in the revamp, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad said.

“Any announcement by the Prime Minister (today) should be seen as a part of the implementation and not the final step,” he told a press conference after opening the 1st Malaysian Construction Summit 2008 at the Putra World Trade Centre here yesterday.

He said a full subsidy system could not be immediately decided on now, as the Finance Ministry was still evaluating proposals.

Shahrir said he did not think his statements contradicted those made by the Prime Minister.

On Monday, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the Cabinet would decide today on a new fuel subsidy scheme and that it would be implemented immediately to prevent speculation.

Shahrir said the subsidy revamp could result in petrol pumps selling fuel at market prices.

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