The ministry of domestic trade and consumer affairs (KPDNHEP) has assured consumers that there is an adequate supply of petrol and diesel at fuel stations for sale nationwide, refuting claims that there will be dry pumps come January 1, 2019.

In a report by The Star, KPDNHEP secretary-general Datuk Seri Jamil Salleh said both petrol and diesel were scheduled control items under the Control of Supplies Act 1961 since June 1975. “Therefore the government will ensure that the supply of scheduled goods is always on the market and easily accessible to consumers at all times,” he said in a statement.

Jamil also stated that petrol station operators must ensure that there is sufficient supply of petrol and diesel for daily sale, referring to the licence terms under the Control of Supply Regulations 1974. “Among the other conditions, the licensee was also not allowed to close the station, or to discontinue the sale of petrol/diesel fuel without permission,” he said.

Failure to comply with any of the conditions is an offence under Regulation 21 of the Supply Control Regulations 1974 and punishable under Section 22 of the Control of Supplies Act 1974. Those convicted could face a fine of up to RM1 million or three years jail for the first offence, a RM3 million fine for the second offence and an imprisonment of up to five years or both.

The ministry’s response comes after the Bumiputera Petrol Dealers Association of Malaysia (Bumipeda) said consumers may face difficulty in getting petrol and diesel, as dealers are reluctant to restock at a higher rate at the end of the month, only to sell it for less from January 1 onward.

Recently, the Finance Ministry announced that fuel prices will be floated and set on a weekly basis from next year so consumers can benefit quicker from reductions in global crude oil prices. The move has unsettled petrol dealers in Malaysia, who are actively engaging the government to find ways to minimise/negate (potential) losses during the transition.