PDAM, how­ever, is agree­able to weekly an­nounce­ments of petrol prices

New Straits Times - - News - –AWAINA ARBEE

PETROL Deal­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of Malaysia (PDAM) plans to hold talks with the gov­ern­ment on is­sues con­cern­ing fuel ceil­ing prices.

Its pres­i­dent, Datuk Khairul An­war, said they had to meet Do­mes­tic Trade, Co­op­er­a­tives and Con­sumerism Min­istry of­fi­cials for dis­cus­sions as PDAM agreed with the weekly an­nounce­ments of fuel prices but not ceil­ing prices.

He said a pol­icy change would re­sult in not hav­ing stan­dard­ised fuel prices, which would lead to un­healthy busi­ness ac­tiv­i­ties.

“PDAM feels that our point of view was not taken into con­sid­er­a­tion when the gov­ern­ment an­nounced the pol­icy change. There must be a dis­cus­sion to clar­ify the mat­ter.

“There is no is­sue on the de­ci­sion to an­nounce fuel prices weekly. How­ever, we do not agree with the ceil­ing price,” he told the

New Straits Times.

On Fri­day, Do­mes­tic Trade, Co­op­er­a­tives and Con­sumerism Min­is­ter Datuk Hamzah Zain­ud­din said that from next month, the ceil­ing price for fuel would be an­nounced weekly.

Khairul said the in­tro­duc­tion of the fuel ceil­ing price would lead to a price war, which would in­volve a marginalised dis­count.

“When the mar­gin shrinks, there will be no profit. There­fore, a lot of op­er­a­tors would go out of busi­ness and there would be no jobs or busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties for lo­cals,” he said.

He said the ceil­ing price would likely be an­nounced Mon­days or Satur­days com­pared with the cur­rent prac­tice, which is once a month. This will en­able con­sumers to know the cur­rent prices and avoid con­fu­sion.

Mean­while, Perak Pe­tro­leum Deal­ers As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Lee Chee Seng said the move had taken ev­ery­one by sur­prise but he could not say what the re­tail­ers could hope for as there were no de­tails yet about the mech­a­nism.

“There is noth­ing to hope for at this mo­ment be­cause a lot things are not clear.

“Looks like it is the ar­range­ment of the min­istry and oil com­pa­nies only,” he said.

On the NST On­line Face­book page, the story was shared 273 times with more than 90 users com­ment­ing on the mat­ter.

Amidst the an­gry re­marks, Face­book user Des­mond Wong tried to see the sil­ver lin­ing.

“Think pos­i­tive; if (the) fuel price drops, then we can have im­me­di­ate changes. Like what hap­pened in Thai­land. There are pros and cons (to this news).”

In a more com­i­cal light, Raveen­dran Subra­ma­niam com­mented that the prices for other things should not only be an­nounced weekly, but even daily.

“Why not (have) tho­sai, nasi

lemak and char koay teow prices an­nounced daily start­ing from next month?”

There is no is­sue on the de­ci­sion to an­nounce fuel prices weekly. How­ever, we do not agree with the ceil­ing price.

DATUK KHAIRUL AN­WAR Petrol Deal­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of Malaysia pres­i­dent

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