Fuel-ling controversy: Many netizens are urging the Government to reconsider the proposed system.
PETALING JAYA: People are concerned over the proposed system of restricting fuel subsidies based on salaries and vehicle engine capacity.
Online, only a few voiced their support for the proposal while an overwhelming number of netizens urged the Government to rethink the system, which will reportedly allow vehicle owners earning less than RM5,000 a month to enjoy subsidised fuel.
Those who earn between RM5,000 and RM10,000 will be limited to 300 litres of subsidised RON95 petrol and diesel a month.
On Facebook, Marina Jaal said the system would be subject to abuse while Michelle Khoo pegged it as an easy way out in the fight against diesel smuggling.
Others called for stricter border checks and heavier penalties for smugglers.
KL Ng suggested charging foreigners a fuel surcharge of RM150 to RM300 per day, depending on car engine size/type, each time they enter the country.
Anthony Chew suggested removing the subsidies altogether to let the price float and reflect actual costs “which will automatically stop all forms of fuel smuggling”.
Insurance agent Liz Ng from Section 17 in Petaling Jaya was sceptical about the proposal. “What’s keeping me from filling up with my Proton Saga and siphoning the fuel into my Toyota Harrier,” said the 45-year-old.
The Petroleum Dealers Association of Malaysia said the proposed system would be difficult to enforce and would lead to widespread discontentment.
“There will be unhappy consumers, retailers and wholesalers,” said association deputy president Datuk Zulkifli Mokti.
A BHP petrol station owner in Kuala Lumpur said the proposal was too problematic to implement, especially during peak hours.
“Our attendants have no time to differentiate if a car has a two-litre engine or find out if our customers earn more or less than RM5,000 a month,” said the 63-year-old who did not want to be identified.
Fomca said the Government should be more transparent about its plans for introducing a new mechanism for fuel subsidies.
Its secretary-general Datuk Paul Selva Raj said Fomca supported moves to have targeted subsidies, which could effectively aid people in low-income groups.
“Subsidies should not be for all. However, the Government should lay everything on the table so that we know what is being discussed,” he added.
Datuk Seri Alias Ahmad, secretary-general of the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry, described reports on the proposed system as “speculation”.
‘Fuel subsidy plan too harsh’