KUALA LUMPUR: Petrol dealers are fed up of being blamed for the shortage of RON97 and are insisting that it is the oil companies which are at fault.
Petrol Dealers Association of Malaysia (PDAM) president Datuk Hashim Othman said the oil companies were not providing them with sufficient supply, stressing that there was no reason for petrol dealers to hold back on sales of RON97.
“If we do not sell, we don’t earn. It is as simple as that,” he said when contacted.
He added that it was unfair that oil companies are silent over the scarcity of RON97 as there were shortages about three days before Dec 1.
On Dec 1, the Government scrapped subsidies for RON95 and diesel and adopted a managed float system, which resulted in the very low difference between the price of RON95 (RM2.26 per litre) and RON97 (RM2.46).
This caused many consumers to opt for RON97 with many petrol stations running out of supply. Hisham urged consumers to lodge reports with the Domestic, Co-operatives and Consumerism Ministry (KPDNKK) on stations that put up out-of-stock signs.
“Petrol dealers are supposed to have at least three days worth of stock and our licences can be withdrawn if we run out of stock,” he said, adding that this was because petrol and diesel were considered essential items.
“We (petrol dealers) don’t want to be blamed for something that is not our fault,” he said, adding that oil companies should be pressed to explain the reason behind the shortage.
A brief statement from Shell explained that the company was aware of the RON97 shortage and said that it was due to increased demand.
Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Hasan Malek said that the shortage of RON97 should be solved by week’s end.
“We are in talks with petrol dealers and oil companies and they have assured us that the issue would be dealt with soon.
“There are a total of 130 stations out of the 3,600 nationwide that do not have stock of RON97 but it has nothing to do with petrol hoarding,” he told reporters after launching a buy Malaysian-made goods campaign and back to school campaign in Setiawangsa yesterday. “Petrol dealers should ensure that they order more stock of RON97 but of course supply for any additional order will take time,” he said, adding that measures were being taken to restock petrol stations nationwide including by bringing in supply from Singapore.
He urged consumers to contact his ministry at 1800-886-800 on any issue over the inavailability of RON97.
Hasan said action would be taken against petrol dealers under the Supply Control Act 1961 if they were found guilty of hoarding or hiding petrol.
On a separate matter, he said that a simplified version of the formula used to calculate the price of RON95 and diesel would be put up on the ministry’s website soon pending approval from the Finance Ministry.