Minister: Don't protest over fuel hike, be grateful
4:29PM Oct 2, 2014
By Kow Gah Chie
Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism Minister Hasan Malek wants Malaysians to change their culture from protesting to being respectful and grateful.
Responding to a query if he anticipates protests over the hike in fuel prices, he said it is the people's right to do so but stressed that the increase is to ensure the nation's coffers are not depleted.
Therefore, Hassan said there is a need to "revert our culture", where people should congregate to congratulate the government when it executed a commendable move.
"Our culture must revert to one of respecting leaders, respecting the nation and to be grateful for our success," he told reporters.
"How nice it is to have the Indians, Chinese and Malays all around...," he added, stopping midway in his sentence field another question fielded.
Earlier, Hassan defended the 20 sen increase for RON95 petrol and diesel as "minimal".
The minister also could not guarantee if there would not be another increase in the price of petrol and diesel.
Instead, he emphasised that the increments are not meant to burden the rakyat but to strengthen the country's finances.
Citing the ministry's 'Ops Titik' and 'Ops Harga' as examples, Hasan said the moves have saved a huge amount of money.
"The ministry has achieved a lot, but there are people deliberately ignoring this. I want to tell you this: Our university undergraduates accept this fact. We have been saving millions of ringgit," he said at the Malaysian Intellectual Property Awards in Kuala Lumpur today.
The minister further elaborated that Ops Titik which cracked down on fuel and diesel trafficking had saved the government a total 289.39 million litres of diesel worth RM202.57 million.
Under Ops Harga, the minister said a Myanmar national has been jailed for six months after the crackdown on hoarding and profiteering.
"Don't become like (sex blogger) Alvin Tan and flee the country after committing those immoral things. His name is 'coward'," he added.
Tan, who was charged with sedition for a Ramadan greeting that featured him eating pork with his ex-girlfriend, has reportedly fled to the United States to escape prosecution.