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Expats want better deal at pumps Print E-mail
Thursday, 21 January 2010 01:01

I HAVE been following news reports on the new price structure for petrol: current prices for MyKad holders and higher prices for others. Where does this ruling leave the expat? This does not give Malaysia a very expat-friendly image.

It saddens me that by this ruling, resident expats would be treated at par with non-resident foreigners. Expats pay income tax to Inland revenue Board and thus contribute to the Malaysian economy. If I am not paying income tax (like a tourist or non-resident) then I don’t mind paying higher fuel prices. I own a Proton car again directly contributing to the economy. Whereas the non-resident foreigners reside in Thailand and Singapore. A distinction should be made between residents paying income tax and foreigners not paying income tax to the government.

It’s a welcome move that the government wants to curb the misuse of subsidised fuel by non-residents. But the expats will have to pay higher price for no fault of theirs. While moving abroad a lot of factors are considered, one being cost of living. Higher petrol prices will add to the cost of living. This will reduce the savings for expats who will have to ask their Malaysian employers to increase their salaries.

Countries like Singapore are more expat-friendly which can be judged by the proportion of its expat population, close to 40%. The expat population greatly contributes to the local economy. A survey found Canada, Germany and Australia are the most expat-friendly countries. In Southeast Asia, I believe Singapore is the most expat-friendly followed by Malaysia.

Most expats in Malaysia have iKads. Can the government include iKad holders to buy petrol at current prices? The registration of the car should be an important criteria. Made-in-Malaysia cars and Malaysian-registered cars contribute to the Malaysian economy. The foreigner is more likely to be using cars with foreign number plates and should be easily identifiable.

Where does this new ruling leave foreigners living in Malaysia under the Malaysia My Second Home programme? The authorities must look into this and make this ruling expat-friendly.

A Sad Expat
Kuala Lumpu

Source: http://www.sun2surf.com/article.cfm?id=42589



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