Diesel price hike rage: Isham Jalil ups his ante against “formula king” Rafizi whose numbers don’t add up

FORMER UMNO supreme council member Isham Jalil has hit out at Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli (main image, third from right) for the latter’s no-brainer justification during the Sungai Bakap state by-election ceramah over the multi-billion loss of diesel subsidy.

Prior to this, the former UMNO information chief has ridiculed the so-called Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s “senior economic director” as to how the government could have lost RM7 bil-RM8 bil in diesel subsidies a year – or an estimated equivalent to 20 million litres daily – due to diesel being smuggled out of the border.

“Rafizi said there are two ways for smugglers to get diesel out. One is through land route through the border and the other is through fishermen who smuggle diesel through fishing boats filled from skid tanks,” Isham penned in a recent Facebook post.

“If fishermen smuggle out 20 million litres (of diesel) daily or even half of that and sell diesel at sea, then there are tens of thousands of fishing boats operating to steal, smuggle and sell diesel at sea every day.”

“This will be like opening a gas station on the sea with tens of thousands of fishing boats gathering to smuggle and sell diesel in the middle of the ocean on s daily basis. As if the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (APMM) is unable to detect tens of thousands of boats gathering to sell tens of millions of litres of diesel daily? This doesn’t make sense.”

In an earlier FB post, Isham has described as “absurd” the figure of RM7 bil-RM8 bil (or 20 million litres of diesel daily) being smuggled through the land border given if such allegation is true, then there would be at least 40,000 lorries queuing to cross the border daily to smuggle diesel.

“If they use even the 1,000-litre IBC (intermediate bulk container) tanks, then 10,000-20,000 trucks are needed to smuggle diesel out every day,” contended the once special officer to incarcerated former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

“If they use even a 20,000-litre tanker truck to smuggle 20 million litres of diesel, a thousand of these tanker trucks would have to line up at the border daily to smuggle diesel.

“Who had seen a thousand 20,000-litre tanker trucks lined up at the entry border of Thailand or Singapore carrying diesel daily which each tanker truck could be passing through every minute? Based on this assumption, how could the enforcement officers, police and customs just sit and watch this happen day in day out without doing anything?”

So, what’s Isham’s verdict?

“Just say that the government has no money to give out contracts and projects to contractors, friends, cronies or spouses or that investors aren’t keen to come into the country either. And that the government is afraid to deal with the problem of SST (sales and service tax) leakage which amounts to tens of billions. Hence, it has to resort to raising the price of diesel to add money.

“At the end of the day, the diesel smugglers escaped. Those who evaded SST, too, got away. Those that you press and ask to pay are the commoners. This is how the Madani economy of Anwar and Rafizi functions.” – June 14, 2024

Main image credit: Bernama

Subscribe and get top news delivered to your Inbox everyday for FREE