The Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association (FOMCA) has urged the government to reconsider the decision not to issue any prior notification on fuel price changes to the public. Its president Datuk N. Marimuthu said this was to avoid consumers being caught off guard because prior announcement would allow them to better plan their monthly budget.

“We feel it’s better to continue with the practice of making the official announcement on new fuel prices prior to the first day of a new month instead of only being informed at the pump stations,” he told Bernama, adding that FOMCA will submit a petition on the matter to the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry today.

Two days ago, KPDNKK Minister Datuk Seri Hasan Malek (pic) said that from now on, there will be no more prior announcement of monthly petrol and diesel prices, and motorists will find out if prices go up or down on midnight. As of July 1, RON 95 is RM2.15 per litre (up 10 sen compared to June), RON 97 RM2.55 per litre (up 20 sen) and diesel RM2.05 (unchanged).

FOMCA’s views differ from those of the Petrol Dealers Association of Malaysia (PDAM), which is happy with the move. “This is in line with our wishes as we have urged the government to do so. This is because early announcements of petrol price hikes will only interrupt the smooth operation of petrol stations,” said PDAM president Hashim Othman.

He explained that disruption occurs when motorists rush to fill up before an impending fuel price hike, often resulting in the petrol station running out of fuel. Station operators have been accused of hoarding stock in such situations. What are your views on this debate?