Fury at Singaporean cars filling up at Malaysian pumps sparks calls for ban, penalising pump owners

AN image posted on X (formerly Twitter) of a Singapore-registered vehicle at a local pump has sparked a furious debate.

Posted by Isu Semasa Viral (@isuesemasaviral), it called for subsidies for RON95 petrol to be removed to avoid scenarios such as this whereby foreigners abuse the system further taxing the national economy.

Although the act of visitors from across the Causeway filling up with subsidised petrol is nothing new, the recent price adjustment of diesel fuel has brought such blatant abuse into sharp focus.

This move by the Madani administration to reduce diesel fuel subsidy has not gone down well with the Malaysian public already grappling with cost-of-living issues.

The post has generated almost 350,000 views at time of writing. The many comments appended to the post is reflective of current public sentiment. Here is a sample.

One netizen summed it up when he said ordinary Malaysians break their backs toiling just to pay taxes for the benefit of well-heeled Singaporeans.

However, a few disagreed with the poster’s call to remove fuel subsidies, attesting that such a move will only “punish” an already over-burdened rakyat.

The unhappiness and anger of many netizens was apparent with calls for heavy punitive measures to be taken against those who abuse the system – whether it be errant petrol station operators, foreigner drivers or fuel smugglers.

Many demanded that stricter protocols be implemented to allow only Malaysian vehicle-owners to be able to purchase subsidised fuel.

Many suggested that such incidences be reported just like traffic offences whereby pictures and videos are posted on regulatory body websites.

One shared a link where concerned citizens can file complaints.

Some commentors pointed out that regardless of government policy, much responsibility fell upon petrol station operators. Not much will change if that crucial link in the supply chain remains unscrupulous.

Quite a few chided the vehicle owner for using the “cheaper” fuel when driving what is perceived to be a “premium” product.

The post certainly captures the current mood of the rakyat. Regardless of who is in Putrajaya, something needs to be done to finally stop such abusive practices.

Now that ordinary Malaysians are really feeling the pinch, it is a good time to implement stricter measures starting with errant fuelling stations. The licenses to operate such businesses are a privilege and highly sought after.

The authorities must therefore have the necessary backbone to revoke the licenses of those caught flouting the law. Publicly name and shame if need be.

The Malaysian public needs to do its part as suggested by some by being proactive in lodging complaints with proof of abuse. They also need to constantly voice their displeasure and make it known to their MPs or state assemblymen that this is totally unacceptable.

Or make it a sticking point at by-elections to force a change in enforcement procedures.

If a complex logistics system can be implemented to track COVID-19 cases during the pandemic, surely an equally effective system of monitoring foreign vehicles filling up with subsidised petrol can be devised. Not least having car owners to produce their identity card when filling up on RON95.

Something clearly needs to be done to stop this haemorrhaging of taxpayer funds lest the Madani government wants to be toppled over this issue.

Just start with stricter enforcement by making an example of the law-breakers should go some way towards appeasing the electorate. – June 24, 2024

Main image credit: Malaysian Modders Facebook

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