Thumbs up for fuel cap

  • Nation
  • Monday, 18 Jan 2010

PETALING JAYA: Consumer associations welcome the Government’s plan to cap the amount of subsidised petrol a car owner can buy monthly.

However, they called on the authorities to ensure that the new fuel pricing mechanism would not complicate or confuse consumers.

Fomca secretary-general Muhammad Shaani Abdullah said it was important for the fuel price cap to be linked to the car driver’s MyKad to ensure subsidised petrol reach the right consumers.

“Information on the MyKad computer chip should be similar to that already retained by the chip in our credit cards on transactions.”

However, Muhammad Shaani said questions arose on how the new petrol pricing mechanism would be implemented as there was currently no proper central database on Malaysian drivers in terms of the number of cars they owned or their vehicles’ engine capacity.

“This lack of information might make enforcement difficult,” he said.

Muhammad Shaani suggested that every local car owner receive the same amount of subsidised petrol, regardless of the number of vehicles he had and that he would have to pay for unsubsidised fuel when he exceeded the cap.

Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute Centre for Public Policy Studies chairman Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam said it was time for the rich and foreign motorists from Thailand and Singapore to pay for unsubsidised petrol.

“Loopholes and cheating may occur but this must be countered by stronger enforcement.”

Malaysian Employers Federation executive secretary Shamsuddin Bardan said the complexity of the fuel subsidy system with the introduction of a MyKad at the fuel pumps might not go down well with the business community.

“My worry is that the Government’s cost of implementing the two-tier system may be higher than the fuel subsidy saved in the long term.

“The petrol stations may have to buy expensive tracking equipment for the MyKad,” he said.

It was reported on Sunday that Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said that a cap was likely to be imposed on the amount of subsidised petrol a car owner could buy once the new two-tier petrol pricing mechanism starts on May 1.

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