PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia’s Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs has given assurances that there is adequate supply of petrol and diesel for sale throughout the country.
In a statement on Wednesday (Dec 26), Mr Jamil Salleh, the ministry’s secretary-general said both petrol and diesel were available, denying claims that consumers might face difficulties in purchasing them by Jan 1.
He noted that both fuels were scheduled control items under the Control of Supplies Act 1961.
"Therefore the government will ensure that the supply of scheduled goods is always on the market and easily accessible to consumers at all times," he stated.
The statement came after Abu Samah Bachik, the president of the Bumiputera Petrol Dealers Association of Malaysia claimed on Tuesday that consumers were worried about getting petrol and diesel as storage tanks at petrol stations were expected to be dry by Jan 1.
"Certainly we do not want to restock on fuel prices which would be at a higher rate at the end of the month, only to sell it for less from Jan 1 onward,” he was quoted as saying by Berita Harian.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng had earlier announced that the government would adjust and reduce the retail price of petroleum products, including RON95 on Jan 1.
Lim also said that Putrajaya will be moving to a weekly float system to determine pump prices from next month, instead of the current monthly float mechanism.
This will allow consumers to benefit faster from reductions in the global market price of crude oil, the minister said.
Jamil, the secretary-general also said on Wednesday that it was compulsory for petrol station operators, as licensees under the Control of Supply Regulations 1974, to ensure that the supply of petrol/diesel are available and sufficient for daily sale.
“Among the other conditions, the licensee is also not allowed to close the station, or to discontinue the sale of petrol/diesel fuel without permission," he said.
He added: "The failure of the station operator to comply with any of the conditions is an offence under Regulation 21 of the Supply Control Regulations 1974 and punishable under Section 22 of the Control of Supplies Act 1974.”
"If convicted, a fine of up to RM1 million (US$239,436) or three years jail or both can be imposed for the first offence, or a fine of RM3 million for the second offence and imprisonment of up to five years or both."
He said that enforcement officers from his ministry would monitor and inspect the petrol stations from time to time to ensure that fuel supply was sufficient.