Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Rising Fuel Prices...Bravo?

Well, I'm back in Malaysia for a stint, and beginning to realise that the rising fuel prices aren't all a bad thing. Keep in mind that Malaysians have enjoyed heavily subsidised fuel for donks (all my life). I suppose it is hardly surprising that the economy change hit them. Whilst in the little town of Penang (that's the blip of an island that looks like a turtle to the northwest of Malaysia), I noticed a distinct shift in drivers' mentalities.

Keep in mind that here, every car owner believes he has supreme ownership of the road and is not afraid to show it. You may not pass your driving test until you can obstruct at least two lanes at once, and woe betide if you don't speed up before the light turns red, because the car behind you certainly will!

Well, the fuel prices seem to have done wonders. Now, in the spirit of saving fuel, cars no longer accelerate to unbelievable speeds on small country roads. In an attempt to save on acceleration and deceleration, Penang drivers are now actually driving under the speed limit. It's unbelievable. It seems that the economists were right this one time. Hitting the purse was the way to go in reforming the culture of faster-than-thou. Who knows, maybe next we'll actually see the recycling campaign take off!

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