Wee: Prices may rise as businesses wait for fleet cards

KUALA LUMPUR: After almost a fortnight since the diesel subsidy rationalisation began, the government should weigh the move to see if it is adequately prepared for the implications, says MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

“I think one of the key questions is: Is the government really ready?” he asked.

He said the diesel subsidy, which is meant for eligible recipients, remains a concern among the people and business operators who use diesel.

“Some operators have received their letters but have yet to get their fleet cards, leading to uncertainties regarding their subsidy amount and pricing strategies.

“Without the necessary fleet cards, they are left in a quandary on how to proceed. They will have no choice but to raise prices preemptively, which may prove challenging to reverse once implemented.

“This must be resolved at once,” he told reporters after opening the 42nd Kojadi annual general meeting here yesterday.

Dr Wee said the government holds the key to mitigating these uncertainties by promptly addressing these issues to prevent further price escalation.

“Everyone is concerned. Why not start the diesel rationalisation after everyone has obtained their fleet cards?” he said, adding that this would prevent the many uncertainties faced by the people now.

“This approach would provide clarity and stability for all stakeholders involved.”

Otherwise, he said, the public would be the ones who will suffer once prices go up.

He also disagreed with the views of some ministers who said that prices of building materials would not be affected, saying that the impacts of these price fluctuations extend beyond just diesel costs.

“It is crucial to acknowledge the widespread use of diesel among SME operators, ranging from generators, pumps, machinery and other equipment.

“The subsidy rationalisation affects everyone,” he said.

Dr Wee urged the government to take immediate action regarding the diesel subsidy rationalisation to prevent more businesses from being forced to increase their prices, which would further burden the people’s livelihood.

“It has been more than 10 days since the announcement and prices may continue to escalate if no measures are taken.

“The government and other relevant parties need to communicate with each other properly to navigate these issues,” he said, adding that it could otherwise lead to adverse consequences for the people and the economy as a whole.

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