My brother called last night to tell me about the 20sen price increase of RON95 effective from midnight and suggested that I and my sister to go and fill up our cars before the new price became effective.
Neither of us bothered to do so as we don't really see how the few ringgits of savings would make much difference to us personally given the amount of time and fuel wasted while queuing up at the local petrol station.
The problem with Malaysians nowadays, we are so fixated on the immediate advantage without thinking beyond the obvious, as in the case of queuing for hours to take advantage of a few ringgits savings before the price increase which will last how long given the amount of fuel we waste on private vehicles.
We are unwilling to pay the full price of our excesses.
Throughout the decades, we demand development and progress that transcends our lives with excessive food choices, increased wages, improved infrastructure and facilities, and yet we are still expecting prices to not increase at the same pace as our own voracious consumption of everything that came with "progress".
We continue to expect the government to bear the burden of an excessive lifestyle through public subsidies while at the same time deriding the very same government for attempting to uplift the life of rural dwellers with better access to things that urbanites have been taking for granted.
If the urbanites are as intelligent and educated as they claim to be, instead of queuing up for hours just to make a few ringgits in savings, they should be thinking of lifestyle changes to tackle increasing costs instead of being such cheapskates.
For once, start thinking rationally about politicians who stupidly predict stupid things such as more road deaths should petrol prices increase because people will be using motorcycles instead of cars to get places, or those who promise lower petrol prices which means greater subsidies that will without doubt eventually contribute towards crippling the government.
What they should be thinking about is how they could change their lifestyle to accommodate increasing prices, environmental degradation and dwindling resources such as clean water.
They should be thinking of using public transports more instead of personal cars or motorcycles to reduce fuel consumption, inculcate the habit of recycling things that can be recycled and reducing using things that cannot be recycled, and minimise water wastage at work and at home.
How can we possibly improve our public transportation system if there isn't any demand for an improved system, not to mention those people who protest about mass transit system going through their neighborhood?
How successful was the recycling programme introduced by the government some time ago, and how many of us actually recycle stuff or even segregate our waste at home?
How many of us actually use water from the dishwasher and laundry washing machine to water the plants and lawns, or reduce water wastage by being frugal with water in our daily lives, or have collecting tanks to ensure we can collect rainwater to supplement our piped water?
Have you considered having an edible garden to supplement what we buy at the supermarket, with each household in the neighborhood contributing a different vegetable to be shared with others so everyone can have a variety?
How about having a little herb garden so you can grow your own tumeric, ginger, green onions, chillies, oregano, basil, etc. in pots near the kitchen?
Have you considered going out less for entertainment purposes and spend more quality time at home with the family, hence reducing fuel consumption, traffic jams and air pollution?
How about getting to know your neighbors better by spending time entertaining neighborhood friends at home instead of going out in the evenings and have a healthy social life within walking distance?
There are so many other little ways in which we can reduce our cost of living, so many things that the community can collectively do to create an environmentally friendly and socially healthy neighborhood.
Please stop whining about increases in prices.
Start thinking about how we can reduce costs and still have a good life. You'd be surprised that not only life will be good, it may be a healthier life too.