Petrol station operators who want to offer fuel price promotions at their premises must first seek the permission of the ministry, said domestic trade, cooperatives and consumerism (KPDNKK) minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin, following the start of weekly fuel price ceiling announcements from March 29. They must not arbitrarily make sale offers, which can trigger a price war, Bernama reports.

“We don’t want the offers to have elements of surprise which can make consumers feel cheated. For example, they offer a cheap price but when consumers turn up they say the offer is for the first five customers, this will make the public angry,” he said.

KPDNKK has no problems if any petrol station operator wanted to make offers including selling fuel at lower rates but it must follow the standard operating procedure, said Hamzah. Earlier, the ministry said that it expects fuel prices to fluctuate by 5-10 sen each time with the new fuel ceiling price mechanism.

Concern was also voiced from outside the ministry, with the Petrol Dealers Association of Malaysia (PDAM) saying that certain dealers, especially those shifting smaller volumes, would not be able to take that route as they lack the profit margins to be able to offer discounts.

Under the new pricing system, fuel prices will be announced every Wednesday, with the new prices coming into effect at midnight the following day. PDAM was at first unhappy with the move to weekly fuel pricing, but later welcomed its implementation.