Thursday, August 21, 2008

M'sia: No fireworks to cut cost

Aug 20, 2008

KUALA LUMPUR - MALAYSIA will scrap fireworks and scale back festivities on its Independence Day this month to cut costs amid soaring global energy and food prices, a news report said on Wednesday.

Usually a pyrotechnics extravaganza lights up the capital's night-sky on August 31 at the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, but this time around Kuala Lumpur is readying for a more muted and frugal event.

'For this year we have been told by the federal government to cut down on all unnecessary events,' City Hall's cultural, arts and tourism director Mohammad Sidek Khalid told the News Straits Times daily.

'We were told to spend moderately and cut down on live shows as the cost was too much to bear,' he was quoted as saying.

Customary street parades will also be scaled down in line with cost-cutting measures, the report said.

Malaysians have been hit by high energy and food prices. The government hiked fuel prices overnight by 41 per cent in June to cut a heavy subsidy bill.

In trying to cushion the impact of the price hikes, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has announced a slew of cost-cutting measures within government agencies and offered cash rebates to the public. -- AFP

[How sad. And Singapore has extra fireworks show.]

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