Our cover stories focus on the recent oil petrol price hike and the crushing impact it is having on Malaysians. Anil Netto takes a look at Petronas’ enormous profits and how they are being used. P Ramakrishnan says it’s not just the 30-sen price hike, but the crippling cumulative effect that it is having on ordinary Malaysians.
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The government, it appears, is trying to pass on the cost of its failures to the public, says an upset Ong Eu Soon, in another piece. Many Malaysians may still have cars, but as Angeline Loh observes, they are now being forced to buy petrol on “hire purchase” – because they can no longer afford a full tank.
Several thousand Malaysians have come out in a series of protests against the price hikes. But these protests have received little coverage in the mainstream media, observe the Malaysian Media Monitors.
With oil prices reaching the stratosphere, many are crying out for good public transport. Look no farther than the efficient, cheap and profitable bus rapid transit system in Curitiba. Malaysian urban planners, take note. It’s all a far cry from Penang, where half decent City Council buses have given way to ramshackle bone-shakers and cowboy-style coaches (mini buses) passing themselves off as buses, laments Angeline Loh in another piece.
At the end of the day, it all boils down to integrity and accountability. When the Parliamentary Select Committee rolled into town – presumably without using public transport – seven exco members from Aliran submitted a comprehensive litany of what ails the country.
Integrity is also closely tied to a culture that respects human rights. Cecil Rajendra rounds off our issue by asking whether Malaysia ever had such a culture to begin with.
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