[Local]Buat Apa Harga BBM Naik?

A woman cooks bread over burning cow dung in New Delhi, India

A woman cooks bread over burning cow dung in New Delhi, India (Source: Reuters via National Geographic)

Sebenarnya pertanyaan yang lebih betul adalah, buat apa melepas subsidi bahan bakar minyak (BBM). Harga akan ditentukan oleh pasar sesuai dengan nilai barang tersebut bagi para penggunanya (terutama bila subsidi dilepas seluruhnya).

Ada banyak justifikasi melepas subsidi yang diungkap di media, tapi beberapa alasan yang belum saya lihat terartikulasi dengan baik (atau bahkan tidak sama sekali) . Pertama adalah peletakan nilai BBM pada tingkat sesungguhnya dibandingkan barang lain. Bila subsidi terus diberikan, BBM akan relatif dianggap murah dibandingkan bahan bakar lain; dibandingkan jalan kaki; dibandingkan lipstik; dibandingkan es krim. Selanjutnya, hal-hal yang intensif menggunakan BBM (e.g. kebut-kebutan motor) menjadi lebih atraktif (karena relatif murah) dibandingkan hal-hal yang tidak intensif menggunakan bbm (e.g. lomba lari, baca buku). Anak muda yang orang tuanya hanya buruh cuci pun dengan entengnya menghabiskan 2-3 liter bbm untuk kebut-kebutan.

Kedua, bila BBM terus disubsidi di Indonesia, sementara di negara lain tidak, Indonesia akan kalah bersaing dari sisi efisiensi membuat barang. Bayangkan Timor-Leste yang harga BBMnya mengikuti harga pasar (bahkan hingga US$1.3 per liter), bersaing dengan Indonesia dalam memproduksi sepatu. Anggap saja hal-hal lain sama (ketrampilan buruh, ongkos produksi lain kecuali energi yang sama-sama dari BBM), maka karena harus bersaing dengan Indonesia yang murah, Timor-Leste harus mati-matian menjadi efisien, kalau tidak dia tidak bisa menjual sepatunya di pasar ekspor karena kalah dengan Indonesia. Bayangkan nanti ketika BBM benar-benar habis. Siapa yang akan lebih efisien dan memenangkan persaingan?

Bila Indonesia tidak efisien dari sekarang, sementara negara lain dalam 10-20 tahun sudah pandai dan efisien mengolah energi terbarukan untuk dipakai dalam segala lini kehidupan, maka tingkat kesejahteraan orang Indonesia akan relatif rendah dibandingkan penduduk lain di dunia. Bukannya tidak mungkin bagi Timor-Leste memberikan subsidi bagi warganya, wong penduduknya hanya sekitar sejuta orang dan merekapun memiliki ladang minyak (mungkin ada lebih banyak orang di Thamrin-Sudirman dibanding satu negara Timor-Leste) tapi bahkan merekapun tahu bahwa kebijakan tersebut akan menjadi boomerang dalam jangka panjang.

Ketiga, dampak negatif dari subsidi BBM terhadap berkembangnya sumber energi lain. Salah satu acara favorit saya di tv adalah siaran ulang Deutsche Welle, dan jelas terlihat di sana bagaimana sumber energi selain BBM berkembang pesat di Jerman. Mobil dengan 100% tenaga listrik sudah lumrah, bahkan charging station dan segala perangkat charging berkembang. Di Inggris, bus umum menggunakan biogas (dari kotoran manusia dan sisa makanan). Di Indonesia, hampir tidak ada sumber energi lain yang berkembang, padahal negara ini kaya sumber energi, bahkan energi terbarukan yang lebih bersih (rendah emisi karbon, rendah polusi dan baik bagi kesehatan, dll) bahkan yg bersumber dari penduduk yang 250 juta ini.

Keempat, BBM yang murah dibandingkan negara lain mendorong terjadinya penyelundupan. Penyelundupan ke Malaysia dan Timor-Leste sudah banyak direkam dalam media massa; bahkan penyelundupan ini ditengarai merupakan salah satu bisnis bagi (oknum) militer. Kasus tawuran antara Polisi dan TNI di Batam, disebut juga bermula dari permasalahan BBM. Ada banyak kasus seperti ini, yaitu berebut BBM untuk dijual ke tempat lain dan mendapat untung (buntut dari harga yang terlalu murah dan fakta bahwa banyak orang mau membeli walaupun lebih mahal).

Kelima, subsidi BBM mendorong deplesi sumberdaya lain dan polusi. Orang Indonesia masih saja beranggapan bahwa sumberdaya di Indonesia melimpah. Padahal tidak demikian. Ya masih banyak jumlahnya, tapi dibanding dengan jumlah penduduk sudah tidak cukup. Sumberdaya perikanan di hampir seluruh perairan di Indonesia sudah dalam kondisi tangkap lebih, i.e. yang ditangkap bukan hanya yang tumbuh tapi juga stoknya. Ibarat uang di bank, yang diambil tidak hanya bunganya tapi pokoknya. Lama-lama tabungannya habis kalau diambil pokoknya terus. Bahkan diperkirakan pokoknya sudah sangat menurun, terutama karena kita tidak tahu berapa yang diambil secara ilegal. Dalam kondisi ini, kalau diberikan BBM murah malah akan mempercepat habisnya stok. Dengan kata lain, kita bayar orang untuk menghabiskan tabungan. Gila kan? Kenapa ada yang mendukung? Lha siapa yang tidak mau dapat barang murah apalagi gratis? Tapi yang waras harus menggiring yang gila dong, jangan yang gila yang diikuti.

Tentang polusi, selain berkontrobusi terhadap penyakit saluran pernapasan, terhadap kemacetan, dll, emisi BBM juga berkontribusi terhadap perubahan iklim. Panjang ceritanya, tapi biayanya cukup besar and guess what? Yang terkena dampak terbesar adalah orang miskin (karena mereka tidak bisa melindungi diri dari akibatnya, i.e. beli masker, pasang ac,  meninggikan atau pindah rumah karena banjir rob, etc).

Semua argumen di atas solid, silakan Google untuk mendapatkan studi2nya. Tentu kalau berpikir bahwa BBM murah sudah menjadi hak karena merupakan kurnia Tuhan bagi bangsa Indonesia, argumen apapun mentah. Dan bagi mereka ini, saya doakan di hidup berikutnya anda tinggal di India dan harus mengumpulkan kotoran sapi untuk digunakan sebagai bahan bakar memasak tanpa kompor di rumah anda yang sempit tanpa jendela dan tanpa kamar.

 

 

Review and Swatches: A Trip down Memory Lane with MAC x Brooke Shields Excite Lipstik

mac brooke shields excite4I rarely buy things based on sentimental reasons. But two makeup purchases were: MAC Viva Glam Cindy Lipstick and, recently, MAC Excite Lipstick, from the Brooke Shields Collection.

As a child of the 80s, I grew up with Brooke. She was a role model for a generation that was otherwise susceptible to the grimmer sides of grunge and punk. An Ivy League-graduate (Princeton) and relatively clean of drug and sex scandals, there were worst role models that a girl could’ve chosen from that era.

Those days, I’ve always asked for books whenever someone heads overseas – the makeup addiction was not yet full blown and I was satisfied with what’s available locally. At one time, I asked for Brooke’s On Your Own. I remember it being such a fun read – it’s read, re-read, and ogled to death. Surprisingly, I discovered that we had some similarities:an interest in fashion and makeup (da!), a love for languages, and being somewhat of an outcast at school.

MAC Excite2When I read that MAC is doing a collaboration with Brooke, I knew I had to have something from the collection, and voila! I chose the lipstick in Excite. It is a red-orange, in MAC’s cremesheen finish, packaged in a practical and understated tube. Full on or blotted, the color is wearable and brightens up my look in one swipe. Love. But mostly, it reminds me of how far I’ve gone, and the influence she’s had in my life. A thank you and a closing of the circle of sorts.

MAC Excite4
The Fabulous Ms. Shields (Source)

The Fabulous Ms. Shields wearing what I believe is Excite (Source)

mac brooke shields excite5

MAC Excite on me, on top of lip balm

MAC Excite comparison swatches

MAC Excite comparison swatches

Music: Shake it Out!

It’s amazing how you’re on one thing and before you know it, you’re down a deep, deep hole that is YouTube. Sometimes I find jewels, and tonight I did! Amber Carrington of The Voice. Perhaps I’m the last person to have discovered her (and The Voice, come to think of it), but better late than never?

I especially love this quartet. The playlist can sustain me the whole weekend of work.

 

 

 

Review: Muji Cleansing Oil for Sensitive Skin [or An Ode to the Best Thing since Multi Grain Sliced Bread]

20141106_143036Sometimes the best products are taken for granted and you end not forgetting to review it for your blog. Well not this time! All hail the Muji Cleansing Oil for Sensitive Skin. It is the best invention since multi-grain sliced bread!

It is a viscous, thick oil that cleans all my makeup however waterproof/resistant/non-budge they are.

There’s no tugging as the thick oil does the work for you, just help if along with a little massaging. I couldn’t even imaging going back to cleanser and cotton square which feels harsh now.

After sufficiently spreading the oil all over your face, and massaging all around, it rinses squeaky clean with water and very minimal effort. This is my main gripe with other cleansing oils – they all seem to leave a thin film of something-something. And believe me, I’ve tried many, many brands, especially those more accessible in Indonesia.

Go to town with eyeliners as this thing don’t ever sting my eyes! Of course you shouldn’t squirt it into your eyes, but I’ve never found it to sting or give blurry visions if I get a little into my eyes while cleaning up remnants of tight-lining.

Priced competitively and gives the expensive products a run for their money, e.g. Shu Uemura’s over-hyped snake oil. I’ve encountered at least 4 people who switched to Muji from Shu. It is about $20 for 200ml; a 200 ml bottle lasts me at least 6 months. I only use it on days I wear makeup. Calculating, if per use is 1ml, then a bottle is 200 uses (or about $0.10 per use), so 6 months is about right.

For those so inclined, find the list of ingredients here. If you read Japanese, obviously you can read it on the bottle; I don’t, so I’ve crossed check that list with what other bloggers/sources say and indeed the list seems accurate. The sensitive skin one is olive oil-based, just in case you’re one with an actual sensitive skin, though no guarantees it will 100% with your sensitivities.

Anything not to like? That it’s not easily available, and not at all available at Muji stores Indonesia. Recently, even the whole island of Singapore don’t stock it, it seems. In Manila, three stores were called up before I located six bottles. If this thing got discontinued? I will swear myself of multi grain sliced bread. :(

What about the other variants? For many years I did not even try the other variants because the sensitive skin one works so well already, I couldn’t imagine anything working even better. It’s that good. Then I decided to buy a travel of the mild one. It cleans as well, but the squeaky clean feel after rinsing that I love? Not as satisfying as the sensitive skin one.

Go try and thank me later.

 

Music: Shakira’s Album 2014

I mentioned how much I love Shakira’s Empire song, and as I was listening to the whole album and going hmmm, hmmm, meh, hmm…. I came to this song. A duet with Blake Shelton. That pushed me to click the ‘buy’ button.

What do you think, a great duet, no? This live version is even much better than recorded album. I can’t wait until Shakira tours for this. A live performance of Medicine amidst her die-hard fans would be a sight.

Review and Swatches: Guerlain Crazy Meteorites Compact Powder

Guerlain Crazy meteorites compacts2Guerlain is releasing a meteorites compact for Spring 2015 (limited edition?). There’s not much info on it yet  though it’s likely cheaper than their Voyage Mythic meteorites compact (permanent). Now here’s the thing. I’m a user of the meteorites pearls for years and years, but never bothered to get the compact version because I thought it would be redundant (not to mention the Voyage is hella expensive). BUT I splurged on last year’s Crazy meteorites compact holiday edition, and lemme tell ya, I love it so much I bought another one as back-up!

What are the pros over the pearls? The compact is great for travel and on-the-go application. The scent is nice especially on the stank airplane next to dudes. I can’t say it will be true for other meteorites compacts but the Crazy compact has very good oil control property. It’s expensive but I think the value is there. I have used mine for one year and I think I’m only halfway down the compact.

Guerlain Crazy Meteorites Compact swatches

Guerlain Crazy Meteorites Compact swatches

Don’t be like me. Get yourself one of those meteorites compacts, especially if you’re already loving the pearls. Spring 2015 is not too far away – save your money and start peeling your eyes for its arrival cause it will sell out fast. If you’re not yet a user of the meteorites pearls, and are thinking about trying a meteorites, I say go for the compact first IF you can get a hand at the cheaper Non-Voyage version. I guess you can get the Voyage Mythic refill but it’s going to be a hassle to find a casing for it, no?

Guerlain Crazy Meteorites Compact (right: unused)

Guerlain Crazy Meteorites Compact. Left is the used one. The brown splotches are because recently I used my foundation brush over it.

Music: Shakira’s Empire

I was a fan of Shakira when she was a Colombian lady rocker, with her long brunette hair. Think Alanis Morissette rather than Beyoncé (though strangely, I have no interest in Alanis). Shakira’s slinky, slithering self did not interest me much and I sort of half listened to her lately. She’s still great, but not my jam most of the time. Also, i think she sings better in Spanish. The last Shakira album I bought must have been Fijación Oral, Vol. 1 (2005! Gosh!).

Until I heard this. THIS is the Shakira I love! Why have I just heard this now?!

[Coz I've been Jonita Gandhied-out, that's why!]

I don’t like the video though.

Are you a Shakira fan?