OCTOBER 3 — The recent increase in fuel prices has been received with frustrated, aggravated, disappointed responses from citizen of Malaysia. However, as a group of Malaysian youth hungry for cleaner power sources and a greener environment, the Persatuan Belia Perubahan Iklim stands with the Government of Malaysia in its decision to cut the dirty fossil fuel subsidies for RON 95 petroleum and diesel by RM0.20 cents.
Putting the ‘real’ price on petrol, in line with the subsidy rationalization plan that has been backed by the World Bank, gives an opportunity for Malaysians to explore the alternative cleaner transportation options available to them. This alternative transportation includes the LRT, KTM, Monorail, ERL, public buses, shuttle services, carpooling, taxis, cycling and even walking & cycling. Although we lack the proper infrastructure for public transportation throughout the country, what we have with the petrol price rationalization is a chance to put a spotlight on to the government and local municipalities to fix these issues.
At the recent UN Climate Summit in NYC, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak noted that Malaysia was constructing a new urban mass transit system that could halve the number of cars on its city streets (Source: themalaymailonline.com). This is in line with our nations goal to cut the carbon emissions intensity of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 40% by 2020. A major source of our carbon emission is from the extraction, production, delivery and ultimately, the burning of fuel by our cars and trucks.
However, our support comes with several request to the government which are as follows:
- Public Transportation system’s route and scheduling should be improved and increased.
- Infrastructure for cycling is a fast track improvement that can and must be implemented by local municipalities. Awareness programs to persuade more citizens to cycle should be adopted and safety procedures for cyclist put in place
- The Subsidies recovered from this exercise must be re-invested into promoting more connectivity within urban centres and inter-cities within Malaysia.
*Persatuan Belia Perubahan Iklim, an organisation comprising of young Malaysians calling for climate action, will organise a four days empowerment training workcamp named #PowerShiftMsia. It will be held between 16 to 19 October 2014 in Penang National Park. #PowerShiftMsia will see 100 youths from all over Malaysia coming together for a 3 -day workshop to build up climate change knowledge and learn how to run successful campaigns, with a target outcome of developing impactful campaigns.
** This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail Online.