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Is snob appeal the reason motorist of petrol vehicle is seen filling up with ultra-expensive diesel fuel?

Publish date: Tue, 18 Jun 2024, 09:21 AM

SNOB appeal, according to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, is defined as ‘qualities in a product that appeal to the snobbery in a purchaser’.

These qualities could include rarity, unusual or even obscurity, but most frequently it is associated with price. Some people just want to be seen buying the most expensive products. In other words, it can be termed as ‘conspicuous consumption’.

This ‘snob appeal’ attitude could perhaps explain why a motorist was photographed filling his petrol vehicle with diesel.

As most Malaysians are well aware, diesel subsidies have recently been removed making it the second expensive fuel at the pumps at RN3.35/litre. RON 95 petrol is priced at RM2.07/litre while the premium RON 97 is pegged at RM3.47/litre.

The photo was shared on the Meanwhile in Malaysia Facebook forum which elicited plenty of cheeky remarks from netizens. Here are some samples.

More than one pointed to this ‘snob appeal’ as reason for pumping the wrong fuel into the vehicle.

Some wondered how the the usually larger diesel pump nozzles could fit into the Perodua’s petrol-filling gap.

One netizen provided a helpful explanation to the above query.

Another alluded to ‘urban myths’ about modified cars that allowed them to use the then cheaper diesel fuel.

Some suggested that this was the new modus operandi for fuel smugglers.

One said the owner possibly owned a diesel vehicle and force of habit may have led to this act of absent-mindedness.

With the new diesel prices a hot topic, it is good to see some Malaysians have retained their sense of humour. The removal of the subsidy will have a profound impact on ordinary Malaysians as it will inevitably contribute to the already spiralling cost of living.

As one said, this motorist probably doesn’t mind paying the new diesel price, but how many feel likewise?

That the snob appeal sentiment was a constant refrain is a reflection of how many ordinary Malaysians feel about the issue - they are not ultra-rich to be able to afford this price hike.

This picture may just become the defining image of the Madani administration - a government that is not aligned with public needs and/or wants.

Time will tell if this will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. - June 17, 2024

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