MUAR: Enforcement authorities, including the marine police and the Customs Department, have been urged to tighten checks on all fishing trawlers leaving for the sea to prevent the smuggling of fuel out of the country.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the recent increase of fuel prices in Indonesia could tempt fishermen to smuggle out diesel, petroleum or kerosene to be sold in the republic.
“We had problems in the north where our subsidised fuel was smuggled into Thailand when the prices of fuel there rose,” he said, adding that the Government was concerned that this problem would recur.
Speaking to reporters after presenting gifts to over 200 villagers in Pagoh who will perform their haj next month, Muhyiddin said the Government spent millions of ringgit annually in subsidies to control the prices of fuel.
As such, it would not be fair to the people if the subsidised fuel was sold to foreigners, he said.
However, he said it was difficult to curb smuggling activities in the sea due to its vastness.
On the ceiling price for essential items for the coming Chinese New Year, Muhyiddin said it would be enforced on Jan 25, adding that the list of goods would be the same as last year.