In a bid to curb the illegal practice of foreign vehicles pumping subsidized RON95 fuel in Johor Bahru, petrol kiosks across the city are now on high alert. The move comes in response to a recent surge in cases involving vehicles with foreign license plates taking advantage of subsidized fuel prices in Malaysia.
One of the busiest petrol kiosks in Malaysia is managed by Johorean Mohammad Syafik Mohammad. The Petronas station is located along the road that exists from the Bangunan Sultan Iskandar Customs, immigration, and quarantine complex (BSI) linked to the Woodlands Causeway, witnessing more than 400 vehicles passing through every day.
Authorities have not only increased surveillance but have also implemented stricter penalties for those caught in the act. During an interview with CAN, Mohammad Syafik Mohammad while referring to the Singapore registered vehicles who determined and persisted in illegal filling up with RON95 fuel, said, “We are on guard all the time because there will always be some who are willing to try their luck.” He also added by saying, “Despite our best efforts to stop them before they insert the nozzle into their vehicles, every month there will be three or four who do so. We take down their particulars and inform the authorities.”
Malaysia has banned the sale of RON95 petrol to foreign-registered vehicles, since August 2010. RON95 is partially subsidized by the government of Malaysia and it is meant to benefit Malaysians. The Minister of Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister Armizan Mohd Ali, on January 15(Monday) said that any fuel station operator found guilty for the first time could face fines more than the existing RM1 million (US$211,976).
It is an offence to sell subsidized petrol to foreign registered vehicles, under the Control of Supplies Act 1961. At this point, there is no law claiming that fines will be imposed on errant motorists. This has resulted in complaints from several industry players. According to them the drivers who are illegally fuelling up in the complete knowledge of the law should also be imposed fines.
Mr Mohammad Syafik said, “Since the announcement last Monday…we have our staff members patrolling the petrol islands to ensure no motorist with a Singapore vehicle picks up the yellow nozzles (RON95 fuel).”