Subsidised diesel worth RM3.5bil believed to be misappropriated, says Fahmi

JOHOR BARU: Some two billion litres of subsidised diesel worth about RM3.5bil were believed to have been misappropriated last year, says government spokesman Fahmi Fadzil.

Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil said that among sectors that are believed to have been involved in the offence include the construction industry.

“There are certain sectors, such as the construction sector, that have never been entitled to the diesel subsidy but are claiming that they now need to increase the prices of their goods and services following the rationalisation of diesel subsidy.

“That should not be the case as they should not have even got the subsidy to begin with. If they were using subsidised diesel in the past, then it is considered misappropriation,” he said in a press conference after attending the 'Sembang Santai' program here on Friday (June 14).

Fahmi also gave a stern warning to businesses not to use the rationalisation of the disease subsidy as a justification for them to jack up the prices of their goods and services at will.

“Several companies have been summoned to justify to the Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Ministry on why they needed to hike up the price of their goods when they were never entitled to the subsidy in the past.

“It is an offence for them to increase prices without justification, and the ministry is monitoring the matter very closely,” he said.

He added the implementation of the targeted subsidy has significantly reduced misappropriation of diesel.

“Last year, we lost over two million litres of subsidised diesel to misappropriation and smuggling activities.

“The figure is worth between RM3bil and RM3.5bil, which is a lot of money that could be put to good use to build hospitals and other public facilities,” he said.

It was earlier reported that a total of 10 companies have been given written notice by the ministry for increasing the prices of goods and services since the targeted diesel subsidy scheme came into effect on June 10.

The notice was issued under Section 21 of the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011.

"The identified companies will be asked to explain their price hikes on goods and services," said Minister Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali in a statement on Friday.

Armizan said the 10 companies comprised three transport companies, three construction companies, two beverage companies and two machinery rental companies.

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