On the sizzling run-up to the polling date on March 8, the international oil market was feverish with sharp leaps, closing for the first time ever above 100 U.S. dollars per barrel at 100.01 on Tuesday.
According to the top-notch analysts in the States, the frenzy rise of U.S.$4 in a day was built on an underlying trend. It might mark the end of selling oil short on the basis of U.S. economic slowdown.
The implication here is most worrying: It could spur on the market to impact demand for oil and other commodities. Put it in a layman's term, it means the oil price is set to leap further.
I felt shivers going down my spine when I got the news through e-mail. Life is going to be harder ahead, my intuition told me.
Pak Lah would have a difficult time also. Malaysia is already on deficit- a further run on oil means that greater strains would be built on the nation's coffers if oil subsidy is not reduced progressively.
But oil desubsidisation would add burden to the rakyat who are already being impacted with the spiralling inflation. They pant under immense pressure and, worse still, they have no way to relieve their pent-up frustration.
Election has conveniently become a platform for the rakyat to burst out in silence. We all hope the oil price burden would subside after the election. But my understanding tells me that, whoever is voted in, it is highly unrealistic to dwell on that.
Our deficit position and international oil pricing would pressurise Pak Lah into making domestic adjustments to petrol prices in the near future. That would certainly trigger another round of painful price increases.
Life-it is going to get harder!
Today is the fifteenth day of the first lunar month. I wish all of you a Happy Yuanxiaojie or Chap Goh Mei!