Thursday, June 12, 2008

Malaysian groups plan fuel protests

Opposition groups in Malaysia have vowed to push ahead with plans for mass protests against a sharp 41% hike in fuel prices, despite the government's pledge not to further raise prices this year.

The price hike last week has sparked sporadic protests nationwide.
Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi sought to calm public anger, promising on Wednesday to keep prices fixed at the current level for the rest of the year.

Shamsul Iskandar Akin, a leader of the GERAMM youth coalition against oil price rises, dismissed Abdullah's pledge and said the hike had led prices to rise across the board and caused further hardship for the poor.

Malaysia as a net oil exporter, benefits from rising global oil prices and people are questioning why profits from national oil firm Petronas are not used as subsidies, he said.
A march is planned on Friday from a mosque in downtown Kuala Lumpur to the Petronas Twin Towers, where Petronas headquarters is based, he said.

GERAMM and PROTES, another anti-inflation coalition of opposition parties and non-governmental groups, hope to also gather a million people for the largest mass demonstration in Kuala Lumpur next month, he added.

In addition, GERAMM has launched an online petition to gather a million signatures to protest at the price hike, he added.

Police have warned they will take action against protestors.
Any gatherings of more than four people requires a police permit.

click Malaysian groups plan fuel protests The Press Association