May 30, 2008
Malaysia to ban fuel sales to S'pore cars from June 9.
The ban, to stop foreigners from benefitting from fuel subsidy, on Thai cars from the north starts June 2
By Carolyn Hong, Malaysia Bureau Chief
IN KUALA LUMPUR - MALAYSIA will only start banning Singapore-registered cars from buying fuel in Johor stations near the southern border from June 9, instead of Friday as earlier announced.
The ban at the northern border, largely affecting Thai-registered cars, will start a week earlier - on June 2.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Shahrir Samad told The Straits Times that the ban would not affect motorcycles. They will be allowed to buy subsidised fuel anywhere in Malaysia.
'These are usually low-income earners, and many of them could be Malaysians,' he said.
Malaysia had earlier announced a ban on the sale of fuel to foreign-registered vehicles from stations within 50km of its northern and southern borders.
This was to prevent Malaysia's heavily-subsidised fuel from being sold to foreigners, especially the stream of Thai vehicles which cross the border daily just to buy diesel or petrol.
The delay in implementing the ban was caused by administrative issues such as publicity and the printing of posters to be placed at affected petrol stations.
'It's the information campaign that is holding things up,' Datuk Shahrir said.
At current global oil prices, Malaysia will spend RM55 billion (S$23 billion) this year - more than its RM40 billion annual development budget - to keep pump prices among the lowest in the region.
No complains from Singaporean about cheaper petrol in Malaysia and the causeway is still jam like nobody business.