Published on: Tuesday, October 08, 2013
Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Jainab Ahmad said they suspected the shortage was due to the illegal sale of subsidised diesel to industries which are supposed to use non-subsidised diesel.
She said this caused panic buying among users due to many speculations that diesel has run out of stock in the market.
"To curb this illegal sale, the Domestic, Trade, Consumerism and Cooperatives Ministry has beefed up their enforcement to continuously monitor petrol kiosks which are frequently short of petrol and diesel," she told a media conference during a joint on-site inspection at two petrol kiosk in Telipok, near here, Monday.
A total of 17 cases of diesel shortage were recorded in six districts throughout Sabah during the fasting month in July.
Kota Kinabalu recorded the highest number with six cases, followed by Sandakan, Beaufort and Tuaran with three cases respectively and one case each in Keningau and Kudat.
Jainab said the Ministry is also monitoring the delivery from the depot to the petrol kiosk to ensure it reaches the designated petrol kiosk, adding that action would be taken on those found to have committed such offence.
The Ministry, she said, recorded a total of 49 cases under the Supplies Control Act 1961, with seizure worth about RM1,062,958.64.
Tawau recorded the highest figure with 18 cases, followed by Kota Kinabalu with 15 cases, Sandakan with seven cases, while Lahad Datu, Kudat, Tuaran and Semporna recorded two cases respectively and one case in Keningau.
On another note, she urged business operators not to hike the prices of goods following the increase of RON95 petrol and diesel prices.
"I was made to understand that there are certain quarters who are profiteering by increasing the price of their goods with the excuse that the price of fuel has gone up.
"I am surprised how certain quarters fail to reduce the price of their goods even though the price of cooking oil was reduced after the general election, but when the price of fuel goes up, everyone rushes to hike up the price of their goods," she said.
"I have already discussed with the Ministry on this matter and I hope the people would work together by alerting us.
We must monitor the situation together to ensure there are no quarters who take advantage of the situation for their self-interest," she said.
Also present were officers and enforcement personnel from the Domestic, Trade, Consumerism and Cooperatives Ministry.