The world’s busiest land border has finally reopened after over two years, and Singapore and Johor are now connected again – so near yet so far no more. It’s a good thing that our Singaporean friends are back, and the opening of the border will be a boon to so many Johor businesses that have been hard hit by the pandemic.

However, this also means that we’re seeing some unsavoury things such as reckless driving and, as viralled recently, the illegal use of RON 95 petrol. Yes, it’s illegal. Foreign-registered cars are prohibited from buying RON 95 fuel, which is heavily subsidised by the Malaysian government. They are free to fill up with RON 97, which is currently priced at RM3.81 per litre (RM1.76 per litre difference from RON 95) – still very cheap for those earning SGD.

After examples spread on social media, the government issued reminders and promised enforcement, but Twitter user Abe J has a seemingly better idea that we can all participate in.

“If you see any Singaporean cars using our subsidised fuel, and if they show shit face when you sound them, just press the E-Stop button and then report to the authorities. That’s the only way to teach them,” he tweeted. Pardon the less than polite words of our direct translation from BM.

Sounds good, like a citizen’s arrest to stop theft. However, this is not advisable, as pressing the emergency stop button may also interrupt fuel flow on the opposite side of the same island.

For certain stations (different fuel companies may have different failsafes and protocols), it may even take some time for fuel flow to be restarted, causing further delays for everyone. It should also be noted that not all fuel stations have such emergency stop buttons installed at each kiosk.

Perhaps what a witness can do is to confront the motorist and inform him/her that filling up with RON 95 is not allowed for foreign-registered cars. Say so nicely, and point to the warning notices that are placed everywhere around the station. Kasi dia malu, in hope that he/she won’t repeat the stunt. You can inform the station staff, which are on high alert as enforcement is currently ongoing.

You can also file a compliant with the ministry of domestic trade and consumer affairs (KPDNHEP) via its e-complaint platform or WhatsApp them at 019-2794317. Whatever it is, no violence, please.

It has to be said that the majority of Singaporean visitors know of the no-RON 95 rule, and abide by it – the few that have been caught with yellow nozzles in hand are merely a few bad apples. Let’s continue to be good neighbours and welcoming hosts. But with cameras on standby.