There is insufficient manpower to monitor the purchase of RON95 by foreign-owned vehicles, says Petrol Dealers Association of Malaysia (PDAM) president Khairul Annuar Abdul Aziz.
He said the authorities were monitoring the situation but it was not feasible to constantly monitor all vehicles at petrol stations purchasing RON95, which is subsidised heavily by the government to keep it at RM2.05 a litre for Malaysians despite soaring prices of oil globally.
Vehicles owned by foreigners are supposed to use RON97, which sells at RM3.91 a litre.
Khairul said it may require up to 10 people at the pumps at any one time to ensure RON95 is only used by locals.
“For three shifts, that would mean 30 staff members. With minimum wages now at RM1,500, it would cost about RM45,000 in salaries alone.
“If we are provided with the funds, then we can engage more workers, otherwise we can’t afford it,” he said.
The sale of RON95 to foreigners was prohibited in 2010 by former domestic trade and consumer minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who is now prime minister, to ensure fuel subsidies only benefit Malaysians.
Khairul suggested the use of technology to assist in monitoring the purchase of RON95 by foreigners, especially now that the borders have reopened.
“Maybe an identification check, using an individual’s identification card, can be introduced at the pump before anyone makes a purchase,” he added.
Khairul said a payment system could be introduced to prevent purchases using foreign credit cards for the purchase of RON95 fuel.
He also suggested the use of technology using nano-tags to identify RON95 fuel. A heavy fine could be imposed on any foreign-registered cars checked and found to have these nano-tags.
Earlier, former prime minister Najib Razak had taken to Facebook to urge local authorities and petrol stations to ensure foreigners do not purchase RON95.
He said the subsidy for every litre of RON95 petrol is around RM1.70.
“If foreigners fill 40 litres of RON95, the government will lose RM68 of the people’s money to foreigners,” he said.
Najib said at RM2.05 a litre, RON95 was the 11th lowest in the world, cheaper even than the price charged in some major oil-producing and Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain.
“Only RON97 is allowed to be sold to foreigners here. Even at RM3.91 per litre in Malaysia, this is still much cheaper than the prices in Singapore where RON95 sells for S$3.02 (RM9.37) and RON97 for S$ 3.51 (RM10.89) because of the high taxes.”