Monday, April 22

Short-changed by petrol kiosk

7

DOESN’T LOOK RIGHT: MDTCC enforcement officer Dominic Joseph Bakir shows Zakaria (squatting) the reading on the dispenser. Also seen are (from right) Mohd Fuzaimie Idlan Tajudin (Raiding Officer) and Ragavan Sukumaran (enforcement officer).

MIRI: Is it a technical error or business malpractice? The fact remains that motorists who had purchased fuel at one particular petrol station here have been getting 14 per cent less fuel than what was stated on the petrol station’s meter!

Officers from the Miri office of the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism (MDTCC) and Metrology Corporation Malaysia (MCM) Sdn Bhd stumbled upon this find during a routine check yesterday.

MDTCC enforcement chief Zakaria Awang said the discovery, which was probably the first of its kind in the state, showed that the petrol station had failed to sell fuel (RON 95, RON 97 and diesel) according to the ministry’s quantity standard.

“The amount sold by them did not tally with the pump’s meter.

“Our dispenser’s reading showed that for every litre of fuel sold, customers only get 860 ml. This means that if a customer buys 10 litres, what he or she actually gets is only 8.60 litres, but they pay for the cost of 10 litres,” he told reporters when met at the site yesterday.

He said the offence was framed under Section 30(1) of the Weights and Measures Act 1972, and if found guilty the offenders could be fined up to RM250,000 (for firms) or RM15,000 for individuals.

“We are still investigating the case, whether it is a technical problem or purposely done to make more profit.

“If the repairer of the pump for this station is found guilty, he too would be dealt with under the same Act.”

Zakaria said the petrol station was sealed immediately until the recalibration process was completed, a process which normally takes about half a day.

He said the routine operation, which was carried out by three of his officers and two from MCM, started yesterday, and they had covered all 29 petrol stations in and around Miri.

Zakaria reminded proprietors of petrol stations who had doubt about their pumps to get in touch with MCM so that they could assist in recalibrating their pumps.

He said they should cooperate, adding it was for the good of their business and also the customers.

He said calibration was done once a year, and for every nozzle or pump they needed to pay RM104.60.

Meanwhile, consumers who suspected that fuel pumped into their vehicle was less than what was stated in the meter should report it to the ministry immediately.