Of Price Hike and All

I haven’t write any entry on the fuel price hike. Probably because I was too shocked, as the news hit me as soon as I arrived in Malaysia after 22 months watching it from afar. That news made me think, to be honest, do I really want to live in Malaysia after all? Lying leaders, high cost of living…

But instead of launching missiles over the killing price hike in my blog, I waited, and now I have a different perspective to offer. An environmentalist’s point of view. Which might not be correct all the way, but at least, this is the thought that I need to share.

After weeks of that big news, I read several articles regarding fuel – in other world, fossil fuel that we have all been clinging on to for life. True indeed for Malaysia, because our latest policy doesn’t really favour renewables. We still have the black diamond after all, and it is understandable. We have plenty of hydroelectric sites too.

One man from Environmental Department wrote about the price hike in Mingguan Malaysia, and said that it is a very good opportunity for us to start being less dependent on fossil fuel and start planning on using, or even better, innovating other sources of energy- preferably those cleaner and a lot safer.

I could not agree more. Upon studying and digesting facts and figures on how United Kingdom and European countries try to reduce their dependency on fossil fuel – justifiable acts indeed, since most of them will be oil net importer in less than 10 years, and have done great damage to other poor countries in term of global warming – I was yet to see how Malaysia, my very own country will move towards that direction, if not due to desperation like this. We feel safe with what we have, with only small steps, very small steps towards taken action towards more sustainable ways of living.

But then, thanks to the price hike, people are now shifting towards a better way of living, the one that involves less spending (since everything other than fuel are also affected)- which implicitly a greener way of living. Yes, I am sick of the government telling us to spend carefully, ‘berjimat-cermat’ and all (considering how they themselves living), but spending less which implies buying less is ultimately the greenest thing to do. People are now thinking of traveling less in cars and other fuel-consuming monsters (now I have to rethink my dream of driving a Rexton one day!). My uncle, who travels everyday between Seberang Jaya and Sungai Petani even opts to use natural gas, which is way cleaner than its cousins – petrol and diesel.

But as others have already shouted and screamed – public transport in Malaysia should be improved, maybe a few hundreds percent better than the way it is now. I can hardly imagine how to live green when I come back to Malaysia- especially in term of travelling. The heat and excessive humidity will obviously deter me from walking long distance the way I do in Manchester, cycling is not an option of course (cannot imagine me cycling in Baju kurung!) – and if I happened to live somewhere far from home, (think Johor for example), I will probably choose those low cost airlines to ‘balik kampung’, rather than those coaches which kill. The Shah Alam – Butterworth bus ride I took a few days ago was like hell (Choose Transnasional if you must, seriously!), I am done with it!

Even DPM , Najib (the controversial Najib) has commented on this thing – saying that Malaysia might venture further on renewables – wind, solar and even nuclear. Solar is probably the best choice so far (Hey, 12 hours of sunshine is heaven), wind is good too, but nuclear, it is not the greenest choice in our context (thin about the carbon footprint – the nearest uranium source available is China) – but it is a step to be applauded. I am all for it, do you hear me?


One comment

  1. Salam kak,

    “justifiable acts indeed, since most of them will be oil net exporter in less than 10 years”

    I think you meant “net oil importer” instead? =D

    Totally with you, hon. As a (bakal) petroleum engineer who is studying about the upstream part of the industry (exploration and production, a little bit of economics), I finally understand what Hubbert’s Peak is all about.

    If we don’t want to see even higher price hike (and impending wars come to reality), the time to act is now. Sadly, people still can’t get the fact that fossil fuel is NON-RENEWABLE around their heads. No matter how much (ultra) deep water drilling is conducted, not matter how much more new reserves are discovered, it will DEPLETE, eventually (one reason I think why I think McCain would lose the election if Americans realize what’s good for them).

    I’m not worried about not having a job, when there are bigger things at stake, such as the planet I’m living in. Try telling EXXON-MOBIL that!(Exxon-Mobil works closely inside the White House in their attempt to deny global warming ever existed. Watch “Everything’s Cool” a really cool, eye-opening documentary for more information).

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