Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Help villages of Sarawak's remote areas

As I blogged earlier, the fuel price increase will invariably affect other prices as people and goods need to be transported, and transportation are dependent, at this stage anyway, on fuel.

In countries such as Russia, Australia and China, where the demography is spread out across the vastness of their lands, transportation assumes even great importance. Therefore any fuel price increases do greatly affect prices of other goods such as agricultural produce and essential goods.

Our biggest state, Sarawak has relatively poor transport infrastructure with its 2.5 million population spread over vast distances in remote areas. Most are relatively poor. The fuel price is likely to affect them most. Some of them reside in fairly remote villages where a 10 kg sack of salt or a tin of kerosene costs the world to the consumers. These are vital items and cannot be done away with under the suggested ‘tighten one’s belt’.

Barisan Nasional MPs in Sarawak have appealed to the federal government for special assistance to ameliorate the adverse effect of the fuel price increase.

While removing the fuel subsidy is the correct thing to do despite the hue and cry, something needs to be done for the people in the more remote areas.

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