02 August 2010 - Malaysians consume the most fuel in the Asian region on a per capita basis, according to a report from Malaysian newspaper thestar. Since 2004, Malaysians have consumed more than 400 litres per capita, per year, beating out our Asian peers by significant margins. Five other countries in the study including Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, China and India are much more modest when it comes to the consumption of fuel.
In 2007 alone, China and India consumed under 50 litres per capita. In that same year, Singapore, which took second place behind Malaysia, consumed 250 litres per capita.
Malaysia’s blanket fuel subsidy policy means that 71 percent of the fuel subsidy was given to the middle to high-income groups. The lower-income group, which should be receiving more subsidy, accounted for just 29 percent of the total subsidy bill. Of the 71 percent, 43 percent goes to the middle-income group which earns between RM 2500 and RM 5000 per month, with the remaining 28 percent enjoyed by the high-income group earning more than RM 5000 per month.
Malaysians consume so much more fuel because we need to drive significantly more than the people in the other five countries, due in large parts to the deficiency of the public transport system. Yet another reason lies in the method of calculation. The majority of China and India’s population do not own cars, but the per capita calculation takes the total amount of fuel consumed by a country and divides that by the total population, which happens to be massive in either country.
There is no denying, however, that Malaysians do drive in a relatively aggressive manner, involving too much over-revving, hard-braking and high-speeds when a gentle manner of driving would have sufficed. Bad for our car’s fuel economy, worse for the government’s fuel subsidy bill, and worst for human lives when accidents strike. It is believed that the rest of the LPG had been misused for commercial purposes or smuggled abroad. The same issue affects cooking oil, where 70,000 tonnes are subsidised monthly but only about 70% are consumed by households.
Source: The Star