Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Samad used his power under the Control of Supply Act to direct and ban the sale of subsidised fuel to these foreign cars. This applies to petrol stations located as far as 50km from the border.
["used his power" is not a figment of Lulu's imagination, but a quote taken from here]
The announcement was made on Monday, and was expected to be enforced on Friday the very same week.
Friday came, chaos ruled and the enforcement retracted. Now DPM says the decision to ban the sale of subsidised petrol to foreign-registered vehicles will only be finalised on Tuesday.
Lulu thinks the ministry was very shortsighted in executing this control.
It is easy for people like the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry Kedah director Salleh Maamor to say that operators must ensure that the benefit was only enjoyed by Malaysians and not outsiders, and that petrol station operators in border towns in Kedah should make it their responsibility to “protect” fuel that is subsidised with the people’s money.
There is no denying that with the ban, the operators will be affected. Operators on both ends of the country expressed their concern that it would affect their businesses.
To place the onus on the operators to not sell petrol to foreigners in a time where prices of everything is going up and at the same time they're losing business is really unfair to them. The government, [whether by imposing this ban or by having a dual pricing system] opens them to a lot of temptation to sell foreigners subsidised petrol at a black market price and pocketing the difference. Please understand that Lulu is not saying that petrol station operators are a dishonest lot, its just that the government is dangling a huge temptation in front of them, taking into account the current scenario. It's really not fair to them.
Lulu hopes the government will properly evaluate how to implement this.
Or maybe accept that it's easier said than done.
Maybe what the government could do is to only allow cars with full tank of petrol to enter our country. If they have to refull, they're only refilling whatever they consumed in Malaysia.