Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Datuk Shahrir Samad has indicated that the prices of petrol and diesel could be reduced again by the end of October 2008 as world crude oil prices were still on a downward trend.
He added that revising the price of petrol and diesel is easier now as the matter no longer had to be discussed in the Cabinet, but instead can be decided through a meeting of a few key ministers chaired by the PM. I think as earlier promised, we are slowly moving towards having a floating price for petrol and diesel that is revised twice a month, with potential to be even more frequent in the future.
The last fuel price slash was a couple of days ago on the 15th of October 2008. RON97 fuel was slashed 15 sen from RM2.45 per litre to RM2.30 per litre, while RON92 and Diesel fuel were slashed to the same RM2.20 per litre.
Interestingly, the minister also mentioned that the government cannot bring down prices drastically as it could have adverse effects in the supply chain, but it seems that they have no qualms about increasing it drastically as proven in the past.
I suppose he is referring to the petrol station operators suffer losses if fuel price goes down by a large margin while they still have stocks of fuel purchased at the old price. Even when fuel prices went up, they had something to complain about – the margin of profit for every litre sold which they claimed remained the same while the cost of fuel went up.