Monday, May 26, 2008


Petrol or also known as benzin, solar for diesel in Pontianak is now becoming a scarce commodity. The price will increase to Rp6000 a liter (RM2.10).
A lot of small roadside stalls have emerged. I call them Mini Pertamina (Pertamina is the Indonesian petrol company, a monopoly in Indonesia). They are everywhere. In various shapes and sizes.
The worry, according to my host, is that unscrupolous dealers sell petrol that have been mixed with other things, which could be potentially dangerous for the health of ones car or motorbike.
While we were there, there were demonstrations against the price hikes. Saw police beating up protesters and saw protesters doing funny things too. TV reports showed petrol stations closed. Other reports showed the government officials arguing, as Indonesia is a net exporter of petrol yet there isnt enough for the country. A good thing is the government is providing subsidies (cash) to the poor, the bad thing is the list of the poor is 3 years old and the definition of poor is a dicey matter. Other reports in the TV also highlighted the fact that when petrol prices go up, every other price goes up too.

Wonder when will this happen in Malaysia? Perhaps after all the political squabbling has died down...?

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