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Some petrol kiosks are resorting to technology to ensure that foreign motorists are unable to access RON95 petrol.
Mr Faisal told CNA that his team has a “special mechanism” that would recognise a foreign licence plate and halt the flow of RON95 petrol to the vehicle.
“There are petrol islands which only offer RON95 petrol grade. So when a Singapore-registered car or motorcycle pulls up to these petrol islands, the system halts the flow of RON95 petrol and the motorist will be unable to dispense any fuel,” he added.
“After inserting their credit card, they will be left confused as to why there is no petrol being dispensed and will be forced to report to the counter,” said Mr Latif.
FOREIGNERS WHO FLOUT RULES MUST BE FINED TOO: INDUSTRY PLAYERS
Petrol operators who spoke to CNA suggested that the laws be tweaked so that motorists who illegally fill up on RON95 would also be fined for their indiscretions.
PDAM’s Mr Khairul Annuar told CNA that it was unjust that petrol operators should take the full blame as in his opinion, some motorists bend the rules in their favour.
“Maybe Malaysia is too hospitable. After COVID-19 we want to encourage tourists to come back and don’t want to issue fines to them, but then when the government cracks down on this issue, petrol operators get fined in huge amounts,” said Mr Khairul Annuar.
“One time we are fined, we can be bankrupt,” he added.
Mr Khairul Annuar added that PDAM has made suggestions to KPDN that the government impose fines on drivers of foreign-registered vehicles who knowingly fill up RON95 petrol illegally.
He suggested that KPDN work with the police and the public works department to synchronise fines into a single system, so that the errant motorists be forced to pay up the summons whenever travelling through the border checkpoints.
“This is similar to the system Singapore has. Drivers of Malaysia-registered cars who are imposed summons will have to settle their fines before they return home at the checkpoint,” Mr Khairul Annuar said.
Mr Faisal agreed that errant motorists must also shoulder some of the blame.
“I think it’s only fair. When KPDN do enforcement checks we the petrol operators are the target of the summons but in the cases I’ve seen, motorists are the ones committing the offences,” he added.
However, moving forward to the second half of 2024, the fuel industry in Malaysia is likely to see major changes even for Malaysian motorists. Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli announced in November 2023 that the government is coming up with a mechanism to ensure that RON95 subsidised petrol will only be available to targeted members of the population based on their income needs.
Mr Rafizi said presently, those in the top 20 (T20) income group are receiving 53 per cent of blanket fuel subsidies and that this is not a sustainable nor equitable model.
PDAM’s Khairul Annuar said that this is set to alter the way RON95 becomes accessible to the masses, and perhaps only those with a specific card or QR code will be able to fuel up with it.
“The mechanisms have not been finalised yet but hopefully it will put an end to this issue of those owning foreign-registered cars filling up (with RON95) illegally,” he said.
“Everybody will be buying petrol they qualify for at the right market price and this problem we are facing now will just be a short term thing,” added Mr Khairul Annuar.