KUALA LUMPUR: Some 2,300 enforcement officers will ensure that come Jan 1, there will be enough fuel in the country’s 3,700 petrol stations when the weekly price float kicks in.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry’s special operations branch deputy director Datuk Iskandar Halim Sulaiman said there were some 3,700 stations to monitor.
“We’ve issued orders to about 2,300 ministry enforcement officers to start the operation and ensure that supply for petrol and diesel is sufficient,” said Iskandar, who had earlier accompanied his officers for checks on stations along the Kuala Lumpur-Seremban Highway.
This follows a Dec 25 statement by Bumiputera Petrol Dealers Association president Datuk Abu Samah Bachik that petrol stations were expected to go “dry” by that date.
Iskandar said for the ministry, this was a “dangerous statement” which might cause panic among consumers as many people would be travelling on Jan 1 with school and work starting the next day.
“Petrol and diesel are scheduled items under the Control of Supplies Act as well as important commodities to the country.
“If there’s any shortage, there will be chaos,” he said, adding that as licensees, petrol station operators should not appear to blackmail or issue statements which caused unease among consumers.
Iskandar also warned that failure to ensure sufficient fuel supply on their licensed premises or closing the stations or halting sales could see the operators slapped with a first-time fine of RM1mil under the Control of Supplies Regulations.
A second offence could see a RM3mil fine as well as the possibility of losing one’s licence, he said.
The ministry, said Iskandar, had opened 81 investigation papers against petrol station operators before over petty offences.
“We don’t want to add to this number.
“So, I’m calling on the station operators to make sure they don’t go dry,” he said, adding that order notices had been sent out.
“We’ve sent out about two-thirds of the notices. Even rural petrol stations will get a notice.
“Many have acknowledged receiving the notice so they can’t say they aren’t aware. It’s in their licence conditions too,” he said.
Source: The Star