Now that the global oil price is at US$ 65 per barrel, the government would not be paying any subsidy. The saving can be substantial easily more than RM10 billion. Of course whether oil price will remain stable, or continue to fall is a question. There are speculations that by early next year it may drop to US$50 per barrel. While the government saved on subsidy if the oil price remains stable, it will have to decide:
a) The utilization of the saving of RM10 billion to improve public transport system. We can assume that private vehicle traffic will go up with the drop of petrol price.
b) Whether the government should set up a floor price, even if the global oil price continues to drop. We may indirectly promote Malaysia to use private vehicle if petrol price continues to drop hereby chocking our already congested roads.
c) Government need to monitor whether price on essential goods will drop, from the eateries to the public transport and other services where price have gone up purportedly became of the increase of global oil price. When petrol price increase abruptly this year, the hawker centre price of common food item went up between 20 cents to 50 cents, about 10% increase. Now will these item drop in price? Personally, I doubt it will.
d) The drop in Government revenue will be substantial by the year 2010, when the government collect taxes based on income generated in 2009. The drop in price of commodities and oil may reduce the government revenue by 30% to 40% - a substantial shortfall. This will affect the budget in 2010 and the subsequent preparation for the Ten Malaysia Development Plan.
The Economic Council need to address the issue urgently since it is not easy to cover such a substantial fall in revenue. Alternative source of revenue become urgent.
Global economic slowdown and its impact on Malaysia plus the fall in revenue of the government is the biggest challenge to all of us. By year 2010, we need more than just short term economic stimulus policies. The relaxation of 30 per cent Bumiputera equity ownership for companies seeking to be listed but have yet to fulfil the quota requirement as announced by Deputy Prime Minister is only one of the measures. More need to be done.
Economic issue will dominate the political scene in the country and may be the Achilles heel of the BN government in the coming election.
d ）政府在２０１０年的稅收将大幅銳减，这是因为政府届时的收税是根据2009年的收入。商品及石油价格下跌料使政府稅收减少30至40 ％ －－少了很大笔收入。这将影响2010年的财政预算案和紧接而來的第十大马计划的筹划工作。