Changing Lifestyle

Its hard to wake up one morning and discover that the price of fuel has gone up by 30 sen. I join the many silent majority who felt angry. Most of the Malaysian blogs I visited were very angry blogs. OneYang Berhormat put it nicely for the ordinary folks like me so its all said and done.

Borneo Post on 2 Mac 2006

Since the cave men came into existence, they did not have to worry so much when they wake up in the morning except for a couple of dinosaurs lurking outside the caves.

What the Earlier Men were worried about during their time - definitely not fuel hikes, but these dinosaurs' fossils turned into oil a million years after that causing today's problems.

Now that the New Age has arrived, the danger that lurks outside our homes are becoming more creative - and yes more smaller. The (Avian) Bird Flu viruses and the Hands, Foot & Mouth (HFM) are the real threats, even the longhouse folks call them by their scientific name now. Believe it! I was dumbfolded when my longhouse folks came over for a visit last week and asked me about the the 'H5N1' and 'HEV71' situation in Kuching. The what??

Gaining my composure I explained that the 'H5N1' (Avian flu) was quite a problem in West Malaysia and the 'Human Enterovirus 71' (HFM) is causing a lot of anxiety among the parents (like me) in Kuching as the outbreak has been detected in other major towns like Sibu, Bintulu and Miri. I have to salute the medical officers in the rural areas for really giving these rural folks a good exposure to the dangers of these diseases, down to the basic details. They had to be educated as the chickens and the other animals are running freely and loosely in the longhouse compounds.

So it was no surprise when I woke up again one morning and discovered that we had another thing to worry about.

Holiday time for the kids :)

Gee... i get tramautised whenever I wake up every morning. I try not to read the headlines nowadays. I just asked my wife to tell me what is on the front page. Anyway, its good that these efforts are being done to contain the diseases as Sarawak has to date, suffered 4 deaths from the HFM or 'HEV71'...ehem... outbreak.

Now back to the main topic about changing lifestyle. Clean hygiene if practised by all would have minimised the problem, but knowing disease outbreaks, its very hard to do war with the 'unseen' enemies. But alas, being humans, we tend to be complacent until a tsunami sweeps into our life. As the public health officers go about grading coffee shops now, we hear about complaints from the coffe shop owners that the inspections were unfair. Duh!!

Similiarly the effect of rising global oil price has affected our local economy causing our Government to quickly announce this 30 sen fuel hike and promising that there will be no more increase this year. What is it in for the ordinary folks like me? The most I heard from the newspaper is 'change our lifestyle'.

Paul Sir writes in the Borneo Post: Change Lifestyle, Use Public Transport

So far the most our wise leaders and Ministers were talking about using public transport and revived the 'car pooling' idea (formerly this was the previous Transport Minister's idea, Datuk Seri Ling Liong Sik which didn't really jive with Malaysians) to work. And so far, most of the people supporting this this are also people who are chauffeur driven to work. Yup, that's Leadership by Example the Malaysian way.

Nobody has proposed cycling to work? Or take up cycling as a third mode of transport. Hmmm.... maybe its not a popular idea. Then again, maybe the people up there have not really exhausted the options. The signals we are getting is that we should improve the public transport. Our Sarawakian top guns went to Kuala Lumpur on Sunday for a meeting with the Prime Minister.

I suppose YB Lily Yong will have her say with our leaders "Its Too Much!"

And so the modern air conditioned buses would make an entrance soon?

Yeap - how much is Sarawak getting from the RM4.4 Billion saved from the 30 sen hike. Luckily our leaders were smart enough to ask for our share

My office was quite abuzzed with activity before our Ministers and Assistant Ministers flew over to Kuala Lumpur to meet the Prime Minister. We provided the necessary information for our able leaders to request for a fair share of the RM4.4 billion saved from the 30 sen fuel hike. Hopefully it will be enough to change the scenery landscape of Sarawak?

Kuching Public Transport Study was done in May 2002 and recommendations are being made now. It was a timely study as now we can justify the figures on how to improve our Public Transport

The future of Kuching transport?

So until then, I would like to recommend cycling to all urbanites in Sarawak. I do miss that activity - I remembered I used to walk to school and upgraded myself to a bicycle later. Its fun and healthy. When I proposed it at one time, people thought I was 'crazy', especially to cycle in Malaysian weather. My wish is that they look into spending that allocation for public transport improvement in Kuching to introducing bicycle lanes. But at the moment, its not the weather I am worried about. I am more scared of the drivers in Kuching who are not really used to seeing someone on a bicycle. Especially the road bullies - they have the brain size of a T-Rex Dinosaur most of the time looking for smaller prey. Yeap - right now its just too risky to cycle in the City but I am not giving up on the idea.

Comments said…
oil price hike? haiya ... i don't know what to say ... dad's avanza now takes rm70+ to fill full tank, my toyota corolla around rm70 also, my kelisa is around rm50 ....

and it only last for such a short time ... obviously because of the reduced quantity of the oil ...

hai2 ... use bicycle? yeah ... try cycling from sibu to mukah. Busses? yeah ... aggresive driving, old busses and always accident ... plane? outta question here dude ...

Please ... please ... please ... now is a good time to revise back our current salary rate ... sendat seput already here.
Chris Anakapai said…
minyak naik, silinder gas pun naik. at our place here it cost RM30 a tong. Pakai dapur kayu, deforestation pulak...

minyak naik, gaji enda (niki ka rega utai senang, niki ka gaji tusah mati da).. How do we survive then? My dad is a pensioner, and being on pensioners' salary he IS feeling the pinch.

Action without (much) thinking???
Wilson Chin said…
It really hit me hard on the oil price hike issue, if my gaji is big. then is ok, really hard to survive.
Then when i go to kopitiam drink coffee, even the coffee price, kolomee price start to hike as well. OMG!!!
miracle8 said…
don't you think its a bit strange that for a YB of the ruling coalition, she can get away with open remarks against government policy in the newspapers? (See also her remark on using public buses as suggested by you know who lah) Not that I agree with the petrol price hike, but it just looks weird from my perspective. If these statements came from members of the opposition, I would not be surprised. But from her... hmmmm...
Its not the first time she has done this, if you remember, not too long ago, she engaged in a heated argument with the Mayor of MBKS -which resulted in a "peaceful" show of shaking hands, witnessed by our DCM. :)
Francis Ho said…
Good post Desmond!

In a way I admire LY for taking her stand when all the others are mute; but we do not understand all these politicians hidden agenda(s).

I'm very interested in the transportation study.
Uchu Keling said…
Light rail.. and durian smell (how's that for the ET front page news).
Miriguy said…
Lol. UK said it right. I think if Kuching start using train, no durian.
Yeah, it's a great post. I enjoy reading it.
I got an idea I want to share with you. Check ur email soon :)
How am I possibly going to cope with the price increase? Changing lifestyle? There is nothing to change about if you are constantly tight at the end of the month! WTF.

Hey, I have linked you on my blog!
Kasian you people .. if I were still living in Sarawak I would feel the pinch of the petrol price hike too.

Here in the US we learn to cope with petrol prices that go up and down every day .. the difference can be as high as 80 cents a gallon when world oil prices go up or there is a shortage here. A difference of 10 - 30 cents every few days is common here. No petrol subsidy, but lots of taxes on the petrol! It could be cheaper yet.
gus said…
Yup. It hit everyone big time. I now pay extra RM11 for a full tank. That's a lot.

I usually roll down the car window driving to work in the morning coz the air is fresh and cool. And sometimes after it rained in the evening,the air is nice so I roll the window down driving home from work as well. So it is not really about the weather where cycling is concerned. It is the distance. It could kill me if I have to cycle to work, that is if the motorists don't do me first.

And it is rather silly to expect people to suddenly hop on public transports when the service is poor and lack integrity. Not everyone live and work in strategic locations and have the privilege of using light rail transit systems.
Unknown said…
A good post.

Fortunately for me, my life is very simple so there isn't much to change. Except maybe I need to cut back on the trips to gourmet coffee houses.

Which reminds me, I need to go buy petrol tomorrow....
Thanks for the comments. Everytime, this has been almost 2 weeks after the fuel hike announcement. I can feel the pinch already......the public transport in Kuching City now....if we can call it a City....i hope those who look at the checklist of becoming a city, the availability of good public transport should be put in as a criterea...even the YBs are confused :) Its too much!! Hehehe..