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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Malaysian Way

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Electricity tariff has been raised by an average of 7%. Not everyone will be affected.

On the plus side, those who use less than RM77 a month will probably not be affected. However, those who are in this category please do not be too happy; they will be affected indirectly.

Those who use more than RM77 a month will be affected directly.

Who are those using more than RM77? Majority of these will be middle class households in cities and towns.

If you have a fridge, 2 air-conditioners, a washing machine, do some ironing and use lights at night, you will probably be in this category. Most of us staying in KL or other towns will probably be in this category. It is no more a luxury to have air-conditions , as our weather has become hotter compared to the 60s and 70s. Fridge and washing machines have become necessity too due to the modern lifestyle.

If you run a small business, you will probably be affected too.

When businesses are affected, cost of doing business will go up, and this rise in overhead will be translated into higher prices of goods and services.

When that happens, even the poor and those who use less than RM77 will be affected.

For those who have millions and millions, a 7% rise in electricity and a few percent rise in prices will be small matter to them.

It is the middle class, those who earn a few thousand dollars a month, who will feel the effect of this rise in electricity tariff.

Perhaps we have no choice since oil and gas prices have soared. But as I have mentioned in an article recently, if we can plug the leakages and wastages, we will probably have more reserve to spare and we would not have to raise the tariff so much.

While many of us are scratching our heads to find ways to minimise expenses and tighten our belts further, the IPPs will be laughing their way to the banks, earning profits that is way beyond normal business practices.

Malaysians are practically dishing out money from their pockets to pay these IPPs. I would probably be less bitter– and I think many of you will feel the same– if not for the fact that I am tightening my belt to enable these companies to laugh all the way to the bank.

This is the Malaysian Way of doing business. No wonder so many would like to be near to the very top leaders, to become the so-called cronies!

I will probably be lighting candles tonight! - Dr Hsu

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