Friday, June 13, 2008


Forum on countering effects of surging fuel prices tomorrow


A forum to educate the public in countering the effects of the global fuel prices hike will be held tomorrow, June 14. With the theme “Economy in jeopardy,” the three-hour event, organised by the Sabah Progressive Party’s Progressive Institute of Public Policy Analysis (PIPPA), will begin at 9am at the Sabah Trade Centre. According to the Organising Chairman, Datuk Tham Nyip Shen, the short duration may not be able to cover the entire topic but it has to start somewhere. “It would be good if the public could show some response during the seminar so that together we will be able to join hands and find a way to tackle the current economic crisis following the increase in oil price,” he said. He said the forum, which is conducted for free, will share with participants studies done by the speaker to enable them to better understand the current economic situation. “There is no use in being angry, and instead let us find the right measures and work closely with the Government to address the global crisis,” Tham said. “In particular, I would like to highlight that the differences between the demand and supply as a whole is versatile. In other words, the gap between the oil supply and demand is getting narrower. We actually realise one thing that the traders have been very irresponsible and that they have manipulated the oil prices ... this, unfortunately, cannot be stopped,” he said. Tham, who is also the PIPPA Chairman, said that under such circumstances, the question would be whether the people and the Government would suffer together. SAPP, being a responsible political party, he said, would like to make an effort to share the findings with the people. He stressed that a number of measures could be done such as changing the lifestyle and even changing the way the country is run. “For example, today the public consumes 20 per cent of the energy. But switching the lights off would probably cause security problem. So, it is not possible for the Government to just switch it off to save the 20 per cent energy consumption,” he said. On the other hand, new technologies could probably address the problem by coming up with a more efficient energy usage such as the application of Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology. It produces cost-effective lighting system that consume less than half of the power currently used. It consumes only 30 per cent of the actual power. “I would like to propose to the Government to come up with policy that encourages the public to have energy saving by giving incentives to people who make effort to save energy consumption. “For instance, if the electricity bill is RM100 a month and there is an effort to reduce it by half, the Government should give a reward in the form of subsidy,” he said. This, in the long run, would help the Government to reduce energy usage, he added.