It appears a new fuel ceiling price mechanism will be introduced in Malaysia next month. Minister of domestic trade, cooperatives and consumerism (KPDNKK) Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin has officially said that the ceiling price for fuel in the country will be announced weekly starting from April 2017.

It’s understood that under such a system, the government will announce a new weekly ceiling price for fuel instead of the exact retail prices every month as is being done now. Fuel retailers can then decide to either follow the ceiling price, or set them lower. Hamzah said that the ceiling prices will likely be announced on the Monday or Saturday of each week.

A notice highlighting the latest ceiling price will then be placed at all petrol stations nationwide, so consumers will know if it has been raised or lowered. Basically, Malaysian motorists will have to get ready for more frequent fuel price fluctuations – weekly rather than monthly.

“The government is determining the fuel price to avoid it exceeding the correct market price. In reality, what second finance minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani and I are doing, is to ensure the people know what had been determined by the Petroleum Dealers Association of Malaysia,” Hamzah told Bernama.

The idea of setting a fuel ceiling price was first announced in February, with Johari suggesting it as a means to tackle the issue of escalating fuel prices. At that point, the price of RON 95 had been raised two months in a row, effectively up 40 sen compared to December 2016 (RM2.30 vs RM1.90 per litre).

It will be up to the government to set a ceiling price, which will be deemed fair to all, according to Johari. “When we (the government) have decided on the ceiling price, whether they (oil and gas industry players) want to sell the oil at lower prices for promotional purposes, we leave it to them,” he said.

The Petroleum Dealers Association of Malaysia has long suggested a move to weekly price updates for fuel, going back as far as December 2015. Back then, it was said that the current monthly system could cause them (fuel retailers) to incur heavy losses, and that weekly price updates (of smaller fluctuations) would not be “too noticeable” for motorists.

Well folks, what do you think of this new revelation? Will we see a price war between fuel retailers in Malaysia? Like it, or against it, let your thoughts be heard below.