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

It is now set to deploy some 2,300 enforcement officers to monitor petrol stations nationwide to ensure that there will be no disruption in fuel supply when the weekly float system returns, The Star reports.

According to the ministry’s special operations branch deputy director, Datuk Iskandar Halim Sulaiman, there are around 3,700 stations to monitor. “We’ve issued orders to about 2,300 ministry enforcement officers to start the operation and ensure that supply for petrol and diesel is sufficient,” he said.

Earlier this week, Bumiputera Petrol Dealers Association (Bumipeda) president Datuk Abu Samah Bachik had said that the supply of petrol and diesel at fuel stations might dry up by January 1 as a result of the switch back to a weekly float system.

Iskandar said the ministry viewed this as a “dangerous statement,” one that might cause panic among consumers given that many people will be travelling on January 1, with school and work starting the next day. “Petrol and diesel are scheduled items under the Control of Supplies Act as well as important commodities to the country. If there’s any shortage, there will be chaos,” he said.

He said that as licensees, petrol station operators should not appear to blackmail or issue statements that can cause unease among consumers. He warned that failure to ensure sufficient fuel supply on their licensed premises or closing the stations or halting sales could see an operator being slapped with a fine of RM1 million or three years jail, with a second offence carrying a RM3 million fine or five years jail as well as the possibility of losing one’s licence.