Monday, April 22

Ministry to conduct surprise checks on all petrol stations

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Wan Ahmad Uzir Wan Sulaiman

KUCHING: The Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism (MDTCC) will conduct surprise spot checks at all petrol stations in the state, following the shocking finding of 19 tampered fuel pumps at refuelling stations in Miri last Friday.

Petrol station owners found guilty of tampering with their fuel dispensers to fleece vehicle owners risk a fine of up to RM15,000 or face a minimum jail sentence of two years, warned state MDTCC director Wan Ahmad Uzir Wan Sulaiman.

“If Sarawak has about 200 petrol stations, we will check 200 stations. Petrol stations found to have tampered fuel dispensers will be shut down, fuel pumps sealed and equipment confiscated until investigation is completed,” he told reporters when met at a MDTCC briefing and meeting at Wisma Wanita, Jalan Sultan Tengah near here yesterday.

The meeting was also attended by Deputy Minister of Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Datuk Rohani Abdul Karim, who is also Batang Lupar MP.

Wan Uzir disclosed that equipment worth some
RM200,000 had been confiscated from petrol stations in Miri, and revealed that during the check at the fuel pumps, MDTCC discovered that for every litre of fuel sold, customers only got 860 ml.

“This means that for every 10-litre purchase, motorists only get about 8.6 litres while paying for the cost of 10 litres,” he explained.

In this respect, he advised petrol station owners who had doubts about their pumps to get in touch with Metrology Corporation Malaysia (MCM) to get assistance in recalibrating the pumps.

He said calibrating is done once a year.

Officers from MDTCC and MCM stumbled upon this find on Friday during a routine check on all 29 petrol stations in and around Miri.

MDTCC enforcement chief Zakaria Awang said the discovery was probably the first of its kind in the state.

“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 of the affected stations is found guilty, he too would be dealt with under the Weight and Measures Act 1972,” he added.

Zakaria reminded consumers doubting the quantity of fuel pumped into their vehicles to report to the ministry immediately.