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By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, June 24: The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) clarifies that it only limits the sale of 250 litres of diesel per long vehicle, including trucks and lorries, per day to prevent possible abuse of the government’s subsidy, which is as high as RM3.40 per litre.
KPDNHEP senior director (Subsidy and Controlled Items) Dato Stanley Tan said the ministry did not instruct any oil company to limit diesel supply to their retail outlets.
He, however, suspected some oil companies might limit diesel supply to some of its outlets following suspicion of foul play by drivers of long vehicles who are taking advantage of the current situation to make a quick buck.
“The commercial price of diesel for industrial use currently is RM5.55 per litre. Industries such as the palm oil and construction industries are not entitled to the subsidy. Industrial players will have to pay this diesel price.
“For the public in general, the government is fixing diesel price at 2.15 per litre. This means for every litre sold, the government has to subsidise RM3.40.
“You just imagine. A lorry has a capacity of 250 litres for a full tank. This is a lot, and it is definitely enough for the long vehicle to go from Miri to Kuching. Let me give you a clearer illustration of how much is 250 litres. The capacity of a drum is only slightly more than 200 litres. So you can imagine how much is 250 litres.
“A driver with a long vehicle of 250 litres can abuse the current situation by just filling up a full tank and selling it to industries. Just imagine how much he can make per trip? It is 250 multiplied by RM3.40, which means RM850. And that RM850 is taxpayer’s money which you and I are paying,” Tan told DayakDaily.
He said such a mode of operation had become a lucrative trade for some unethical lorry or truck drivers. They basically just have to go from one station to another, fill up their tanks, and sell the diesel to the industry players.
Calling this mode of operation “smuggling” and the diesel being sold under such circumstances as “smuggled diesel”, Tan said the government had issued the directive to limit one vehicle to 250 per litre as clearly put forth in their written directive that a vehicle can only buy not more than 250 litres per transaction per day since June 17, 2022. (See pic Lampiran B)
The ministry also prohibits the purchase of diesel and petrol using drums, plastic barrels or any containers without the permission of the Supply Officer.
“This is our directive. We did not limit quotas for petrol stations, and we have been providing enough diesel to the headquarters of different petrol companies to distribute to their retail fuel stations,” said Tan.
On Wednesday, DayakDaily reported that Shell is limiting diesel supply to its retail fuel stations across Sarawak, leading to a notable shortage of diesel Statewide. The report was based on the tip of a local fuel station operator who told DayakDaily that Shell operators in Sarawak had received a notice on June 9 stating that Shell will start limiting its diesel supply to its retail outlets.
Owning two fuel stations, the operator said the daily sale of diesel for his first fuel station was about 25,000 litres, but he has been allocated only about 10,000 litres since June 10.
For his second fuelling station, the average daily consumption was about 12,000 litres, and the quota allocated to him was about 2,000 litres per day.
He added that as far as he knew, this only happens among Shell’s fuel retail outlets and not in fuel stations under Petronas.
Yesterday, in a one-sentence statement, Shell responded to DayakDaily’s query regarding its decision to limit diesel supply to its retailers across Sarawak.
“This is because as of June 17, 2022, the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (MDTCA) has set a limit of 250 litres purchase of diesel for all Malaysian vehicles,” said Shell’s statement.
Shell explained that “a limit of 250 litres purchase” is on daily basis following DayakDaily’s effort to seek further clarification on the statement. — DayakDaily