Monday, December 8, 2008

Fishermen and the Diesel Subsidy Card

The cabbies have grumbled that the petrol subsidy card does not give them price advantage. Now, the fishermen are complaining on the same issue but with a threat to strike.

If the subsidy card is suppose to give the fishermen a lower diesel price compared to the market price, then the government is slow in adjusting the subsidized price.

But of all noble intention, subsidy card is not the answer because no matter what the price is, the receivers will always complained.

From TheStar

Strike threat if diesel prices not lowered

PANTAI REMIS: Some 45,000 fishermen from Perak, Selangor and Sarawak are set to go on a three-day strike this Friday over the high price of diesel.

Pantai Remis assemblyman Nga Kor Ming said the fishermen were frustrated that the price of subsidised diesel was still RM1.43 per litre when the crude oil price had plunged from US$145 per barrel to US$42.

Nga, who is also executive councillor, urged the Federal Government not to ignore the pleas of the fishing community who had “many times” asked that the price be lowered from RM1.43 to RM1 per litre.

“I hope the Federal Government will take swift action to prevent the strike, either by meeting their representatives or lowering the diesel price.

“If not handled properly, the strike would involve fishermen nationwide. The supply of seafood could drop by as much as half,” he said yesterday.

Already, hundreds of fishermen in Kedah had gone on strike yesterday, said Nga.

Boat owner Kuik Teng Lee, who spoke for some 1,000 fishermen here, claimed that the community was struggling to make ends meet with the cost of diesel making up 70% of their expenses.

“It takes RM7,000 to RM8,000 a month to maintain one vessel but if the price of diesel were to fall to RM1 per litre, our expenses would drop to RM4,000,” he said.

Pantai Remis Fishmongers Association chairman Lim Cheong Eng also urged the Federal Government to lower the price of subsidised diesel by tomorrow.

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