Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Boycott Petronas ?

It seemed to me that, maybe, it is part of our our culture to call for boycott this or that.

Today, a local newspaper carried a news report of Petronas urging Malaysians not to join email campaign to boycott Petronas service station. Interesting. I guess the email campaign had, in one way or another, did affect pump sales at Petronas stations nationwide.

About 2 weeks ago, I received an email titled “Pesanan dari pekerja petronas”. The email was purportedly issued by a “Muhamad Adib Mahadi” of Petronas to the “Kakitangan HQ”. The contents of the email basically seeked every one help to spread the message among Malaysians to boycott 1) ESSO/MOBIL, 2) SHELL, and 3) PROJET. The email claimed that, if everyone boycotted these three petroleum companies, the price of petroleum at the pumps will drop. Anyway, I doubt the email was originated from Petronas, and I don't think such a profitable and huge corporation like Petronas would resort to such despicable marketing tactic to gain market share.

The interesting thing is, there is a reversal of karma. Early last week, I received another email titled “Let s do it, That's people power”. The content of the email is quite similar to the email I received 2 weeks ago, with the exception that, this time, the email is asking all Malaysians to spread the message and to boycott Petronas. To quote the email “Here's the idea: For the rest of this year, DON'T purchase ANY petrol from Petronas - the biggest price-up driver company. If they are not selling any petrol, they will be inclined to reduce their prices. If they reduce their prices, the other companies will have to follow suit. But to have an impact, we need to reach literally millions of Petronas petrol buyers. It's SO simple! “

Did the three major oil companies joined hand to counter attack Petronas ? Well, when the wheel of karma is set in motion. Vipakka is always assured for those wrong doers. They shall reaped what they sowed – that has always been the law of nature.

Now, if I follow the calling of these two emails, I would probably have to park my cars in the garage and walk to work daily. I have worked hard to afford this little luxury, why should I ill treat myself to suffer by walking to work ? Whatever it is, I will not let all these emails influence my preference of where to pump petrol into my car. I have been using Shell throughout my adult life, so there is really no incentive for me to boycott Shell to switch to Petronas. As far as I am concerned, Shell is a more Malaysian and multi-racial company than Petronas. So, come what may, and as a open minded person, my customer loyalty remained with Shell.

The high price of petrol is a fact and certainty. As a consumer, there is nothing much we can do except to consume petrol with care and to limit unnecessary wastages. However, I do sincerely hope that, with the high prices of petrol, the creative minds of the West can came up with alternatively cheaper and environmentally friendly substitute to send all those immoral and greedy oil producing countries and oil brokers crumbling to their knees. I will prayer to that. I hope in my life time, this black blood of the earth can be do away with to cause less hardships and economic uncertainties.

Ahh.... I digressed ! Now coming back to the boycotts, I did a casual surveys of the petrol stations in my neighborhood over the past few evenings, I noticed, the petronas station is almost deserted, while the other non Petronas stations are still enjoying the usual crowd of customers. Maybe the email campaign calling for boycott has began to negatively impact Petronas service stations. Perhaps, Petronas should now seriously consider dropping its price to attract back the customers to its pumps. Makka Sakti ? Minyak Sakti ? Whatever it is, I will pray to that also................

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