Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Oil Rise or Fall Matters Not to the Poor

Crude oil price has risen slightly from its low of US$45 last January. It is now hovering at USD60.00 per barrel and Malaysia's trade surplus increases just so slightly as the country is a net exporter of petroleum. However, it matters not for the poor whether the price of crude oil falls or rises. If it falls, the price of petrol at the pump decreases but this is off-set by the increase in prices of goods given that the Ringgit has fallen more than 10% against the Greenback and it is the second worst performing currency in the region after the Indonesian Rupiah. Prices for many items have risen not only the GST 6% but at least 10 or 15%. This morning I had small plate of duck noodle and it costs RM6.00 from RM5.00 earlier. The half of a small pomelo costs RM6.50 but how can one go without fruits and fresh vegetables for good health. Perhaps I have to take up more preaching invitations from now on.
Previously in my first stint in ministry during the mid-90s, love gifts and honourarium came up to be about 30% of my monthly income. But I can't take up many invitations with my packed schedule of ministry in my own church. For the poor it is a matter of survival with their meagre income. Even a 5% rise in daily expenses hits the wallet hard as they are already struggling pre-GST. Lord, Your people are suffering but You will bless us with a hundred fold!

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