RM1.50 per litre of petrol? No chance, unless the global price of crude oil drops to that level, as the government has no plans to reduce the price of petrol, which has been fixed at RM2.20 per litre of RON 95. This was what deputy finance minister Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah told the Dewan Negara today, reported by Bernama.

The government is not reneging on a promise because there was no such plan in the Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto for the 14th General Election, he said in response to a question from senator Datuk Ng Chiang Chin, who also wanted to know the amount spent on fuel subsidy.

Amiruddin said the the government used RM1.667 billion to subsidise RON 95 petrol for the period between May and June this year, maintaining pump prices at RM2.20 per litre when it should be higher.

We shouldn’t get too used to this blanket subsidy though, as the government is now working on a detailed mechanism for the implementation of a targeted petroleum subsidy system. Amiruddin said that in the new system, fuel subsidy will be given to motorcycles below 125cc, and cars with engines below 1,300cc. The mechanism will be announced next year.

In June, it was revealed that RON 95 petrol would be priced at RM2.53 per litre without subsidy, and diesel RM2.51 per litre, based on global crude prices then. The government has said that pump prices will be maintained for the rest of 2018.