Construction sector has no excuse to jack up prices when it’s never received diesel subsidies before, warns Putrajaya

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

PUTRAJAYA, June 12 — The Anwar administration today warned businesses against raising prices just two days after it floated retail diesel, telling them the authorities are closely watching and vowed swift action if companies attempt to profit from its subsidy rationalisation drive.

Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil issued the caution this afternoon at a post-Cabinet press conference here, where he cited public complaints that firms in the construction sector were among those trying to exploit the diesel subsidy rollback as a way to jack up prices.

“After a check we found that the construction sector never received any subsidies before, so there is no reason for them to hike up prices,” he said.

"We leave this to the Domestic Trade Ministry (KPDN) to handle this. But the Cabinet would like to remind the parties who try to raise prices (of their products or services) this shouldn't happen."

The Anwar government floated diesel prices on Sunday midnight amid much speculation that it would end the decades-long blanket subsidy policy somewhere this year, calling it a necessary step towards curbing smuggling, plugging leakages while channelling assistance to those who really deserve it.

But some of the subsidies were retained for key industries, including for logistic companies that transport essential goods. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the move should prevent rapid inflation.

Shortly after diesel prices were floated, several companies reportedly announced they would raise prices of their services.

Some of the memorandum to announce the price hikes were shared on social media. Among them were memos supposedly issued by logistic companies in the construction sector, who said cement prices would be raised.

If found guilty, companies profiteering from the targeted diesel subsidy programme can be fined up to half a million ringgit.

Deputy Domestic Trade and Cost Of Living Minister Fuziah Salleh warned that towing firms and concrete producers not to exploit the government’s diesel subsidy rationalisation move and increase their prices.

Similarly, Transport Minister Anthony Loke said express bus and school bus operators should not raise fares following the implementation of targeted diesel subsidy in the peninsula.

Will the new diesel price affect me?

  • This only applies to Peninsular Malaysia, for now

  • If you are a private owner of a diesel vehicle, you may be eligible for the Budi MySubsidi Diesel programme

  • If you are a company using diesel vehicles for public transportation, school buses, local buses, express buses, ambulances, firefighters, hearses and logistics, you can apply for the Subsidised Diesel Control System (SKDS) fleet card

To know more about this developing story, read Malay Mail’s wrap-up of the issue: All you need to know about: Malaysia’s new diesel price of RM3.35 per litre