Errant petrol station operators to pay over RM1mil for illegal sale of RON95 fuel

PUTRAJAYA: Petrol station operators who allow the illegal sale of RON95 fuel to foreign-registered vehicles could face fines exceeding the existing RM1mil imposed, it was announced.

Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali said this is part of the government’s comprehensive effort to counter “leakages” involving subsidised fuel.

He said the ministry is also considering making oil companies accountable for the failure of petrol dealers to bar the sale of subsidised fuel to those ineligible.

The sale of subsidised fuel to foreign vehicles is an offence and at present, petrol dealers caught doing so can be fined up to RM1mil for the first offence.

“The plan to implement targeted subsidies, including for fuel, is being drawn up.

“At the same time, we have to tighten enforcement and ensure that effective laws are in place.

“This will include imposing higher penalties against petrol station operators who sell subsidised petrol to foreign registered vehicles,” Armizan told The Star.

He said the proposed increase in penalties for oil companies is to make them vigilantly monitor the operations of their dealers to thwart leakages in government subsidies.

“These are some of the areas that we are looking into. Further discussions will be made before we firm things up,” he said.

Malaysia imposed a ban on the sale of RON95 petrol to foreign-registered vehicles effective Aug 1, 2010, to ensure that the petrol subsidy only benefits Malaysians.

The sale of subsidised petrol to foreign-registered vehicles is an offence under the Control of Supplies Act 1961.


Those breaching this law can be fined up to RM1mil for the first offence and not more than RM3mil for subsequent offences or jailed for up to three years, or both.

For oil companies found guilty of selling RON95 and diesel to foreign-registered vehicles, the penalty is a fine of not more than RM2mil for the first offence and up to RM5mil for subsequent offences.

According to the ministry, between 2022 and last year, 38 petrol dealers, mostly operating in the Malaysia-Thai and Malaysia-Singapore border areas, were penalised for selling RON95 to foreign-registered vehicles.

Just last week, photographs of a Thai-registered car filling up on RON95 at a petrol station in Rawang, Selangor, went viral, upsetting locals.

If a vehicle has a foreign registration plate and not a Malaysian one, it can only be filled with the unsubsidised RON97 fuel and not the subsidised RON95.

It doesn’t matter if you are Malaysian – where the vehicle is registered is the focus, not the individual.

The rule is tied to where the car is registered, regardless of a driver’s nationality.

The price of non-premium petrol, which is similar to RON95 in Singapore, is US$2.76 per litre (RM12.82), while in Thailand, it is US$1.27 per litre (RM5.90).

Currently, the pump price of RON95 is RM2.05 per litre, with RON97 sold at RM3.47.

> This story was first published as The Star Exclusive
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