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Sticky issue

July 22, 2008
Nope, I am not turning a blind eye on the issue of fuel nor do I want to be a joykiller at this auspicious time when Brunei is celebrating. This article prompted me to write here today. It says the Americans would do ANYTHING for a free fuel. Giving rights to naming a child, to stealing from day-care centres to donating blood.And in today’s local news on a related sticky issue, another fuel smuggling syndicate was busted. The fuel was said to be purchased using a locally-registered vehicle [foreign cars pay more for fuel when purchased in Brunei] and stored in an apartment right in the heart of the capital. Now, inside the apartment’s kitchen, a modified water-pipe led to a tap outside and fitted with a plastic pipe to transfer the fuel into vehicles which in turn would be transported out of the country. Genius!

The Malay paper, Media Permata began the story with a Malay proverb, ‘Sepandai-pandai tupai melompat, akhirnya jatuh juga ke tanah’ or no matter how smart or skillful you are, you are bound to fail. So, the syndicate was foiled after a tip-off from the public. If you suspect any smuggling activities either human or items, remember this Hotline number: 2382422 or send a text to 8714422. I am sure you would remain anonymous. 


As the oil price increased, we have seen the effect immediately. Prices for consumer goods such as flour and sugar have risen. The funny thing was eggs.I don’t quite get why a tray of 30 eggs now cost from between $4.50 to $4.90 when they are being produced locally. Previously it was about a dollar less. I am anxiously waiting for the price list of cakes and biscuits for the upcoming Hari Raya or Eid festival. Maybe during the festival, I will serve cucur pisang or banana fritters and the many Malay kuehs where mom is the champion in making most of them.

I have mentioned in my earlier posts here and here on the amount of the Brunei Government’s subsidy on gas where last year alone it was worth $202 million. So what if the Government is reducing the subsidy or there will be no subsidy at all? Would we be abondaning our many cars? Would we walk or jog or cycle instead? Or row the boat? Are we going to basics? These are positive results isnt it. A greener Brunei, not that Brunei is a polluted country but the opposite. And the one that suffer would be the car businesses but that would be another story.

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