KUALA LUMPUR – March 29, 2017: An economist has suggested that the government explain the calculating mechanism for the newly introduced fuel ceiling price system.
Professor Dr. Zulkifli Senteri of Binary University of Management and Entrepreneurship feels that such transparency is necessary to avoid unnecessary speculatings.
He thinks that the Domestic Trades, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry (KPDNKK) should also explain more on the new system to fuel station operators to ensure its proper implementation.
“The only problem is that nobody knows how the system is going to be (implemented). The ministry should reveal the basis for the weekly ceiling price calculation.
“It was said that it’s based on global oil prices. But at times when oil prices were down, local fuel prices were not decreased. If the ministry is willing explain how it’s calculated, then the people will be clear about the new system.”
Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin had on March 22 said that the ceiling price of fuel is to be announced weekly, allowing consumers to enjoy more stable pricing.
The new mechanism is effect today. Weekly ceiling prices will be announced every Wednesday, with the prices to be enforced the next day.
The minister also said that station operators are allowed to give a discount with approval from the ministry.
Commenting on the discount, Zulkifli said it could be unfeasible for operators because of the low profit margin.
In response to the concerns, a KPDNKK officer assured that the ministry will closely monitor the new system.
“All things considered, we will have to wait for the implementation. We will undertake controlling measures to avoid related misdeeds,” the officer said.
The announcement on the new system has set cyberspace abuzz, as netizens express their concerns.
Facebooker Alvin Lim thinks the ministry should explain on the setting of the pricing system to avoid unnecessary chaos among consumers.
“There will probably be a lot cars running out of petrol going around looking for the cheapest offer,” he wrote.
Ellen Foo urges the ministry to take stern action against profiteering fuel station operators. “There could be problems where operators jack up the price (of fuel) sky high during festive season.”
Rupert Quentin agrees, adding that irresponsible fuel station operators who abuse the new pricing system should be penalised.
However, there are also those have also shown support towards the new system.
Hariz Nasir believes that weekly announcement of ceiling price is good for consumers, provided that it is done properly.
Stewart Tan concurs. “All fuel stations will offer prices at the most competitive rate, giving users more opportunity to experience lower fuel prices.”
Anas Rashid is on the same page. “What I’m hoping from the government to do now is to set the ceiling price to nothing above RM2.50 (per litre), if possible.”