The unauthorised sale of RON 95 to foreign vehicles has become a big talking point since the land border between Malaysia and Singapore was reopened to travellers on April 1. Photos of our southern neighbours filling their cars using the recognisable yellow pump have surfaced on social media, triggering widespread netizen outrage as the lower-octane fuel is heavily subsidised for local consumption.

Now, the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) wants to put a kibosh on this practice as it moves to prevent RON 95 from being sold to foreign-registered vehicles. According to The Edge, the ministry is looking into ways to improve the Supply Control Act 1961 and plug any loopholes.

Deputy minister Datuk Rosol Wahid said KPDNHEP wants to tighten enforcement with measures that include a proposal to punish the individuals involved. “We are now studying the matter and had a meeting yesterday to strengthen the Control of Supplies Act to ensure action to be taken against those involved,” he told reporters on Friday.

Currently, KPDNHEP can only take action against petrol station operators and not the foreigners who fill up with RON 95 petrol themselves. Foreign-registered vehicles have been barred from using the government-subsidised fuel since August 1, 2010. Individuals caught violating the Supply Control Act 1961 (Act 122) could face up to RM1 million in fines, up to three years in jail or both, while entities and companies may be fined up to RM2 million.

The ministry has previously said it is conducting checks at petrol stations in Johor Bahru to prevent Singaporeans from pumping RON 95. It and the Petroleum Dealers Association of Malaysia (PDAM) has also urged the public to report such occurrences, providing details such as photos and locations.

Reports can be made from either KPDNHEP’s e-complaint platform, a WhatsApp message to 019-2794317 or via the toll-free hotline 1-800-886-800. Under no circumstances should you press the E-Stop button to try and teach rule-breakers a lesson – this could interrupt fuel flow for the entire station and delay everyone trying to refuel their vehicles, particularly as restoring the supply may take a while.