03 December 2008

Malaysia's Revenue May Suffer If Oil Prices Fall Sharply, Says Abdullah

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 2 (Bernama) -- Malaysia's revenue may take a beating if world oil prices fall sharply following the global economic crisis, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said tonight.

"If oil price continue to slide drastically, our revenue will be affected as the percentage of income from oil is high," he told reporters after chairing the monthly meeting of the Umno supreme council, the party's highest decision-making body.

"If our revenue dwindles, it will lead to other problems," said Abdullah, who is also Umno president, without giving details.

Oil is the biggest revenue contributor to the country's coffers.

Abdullah said his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who is also Finance Minister, briefed supreme council members on the current economic status of the United States, the world's biggest economy.

World oil prices have fallen to below US$50 a barrel following the decision by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to delay the decision to lower the production quota although supply was higher than demand in the world market.

Following the sharp fall in global oil prices, the Government yesterday announced a reduction in the pump prices of petrol and diesel by 10 sen a litre effective today.

This is the sixth downward revision in fuel prices since August. The last revision was on Nov 18.

In announcing the reduction, Abdullah said the government decided to expedite the lower retail price of petrol and diesel to enable the people to enjoy cheaper fuel prices following the drastic drop in global oil prices.

The RON97 petrol will be sold at RM1.90 a litre today from RM2 while RO
N92 at RM1.80 a litre from RM1.90, he said in a statement.

Diesel will be retailed at RM1.80 from RM1.90 a litre, he added.


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