KAPIT: The announcement about the price standardisation for petrol and diesel in the rural areas is welcoming news for the local residents and also those living in Song.
According to Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Chong Chieng Jen, the ministry has been able to achieve this just before the Gawai Dayak and Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations.
“Through months of consultations and negotiations between the ministry and Petronas, I’m very pleased to announce that there would be no more different pricing for petrol and diesel, in that it is now standardised.
“It is a perfect gift to the Kapit folk. From now on, they should be able to save between RM70,000 and RM80,000 every month – minus the transportation cost,” said Chong when met yesterday after handing over the certificate to one of the two petrol stations here, certifying that the station is now a Petronas- certified fuel supplier here.
Previously, the two stations had different pricing for their supply – one was a Petronas station, which sold fuel according to Petronas rates, while the other was an ‘unbranded’ station, which sold petrol and diesel at higher prices – by about nine sen.
This different pricing caused public protest among the public.
It is estimated that this town’s monthly consumption of both petrol and diesel amounts to some 1.5 million litres – based on the combined figures from both stations, with the demand for diesel is slightly higher than petrol.
As of yesterday, the formerly ‘unbranded’ station now sells petrol and diesel according to Petronas rates.
Adding on Chong, who is also the Sarawak chairman of Democratic Action Party (DAP), said apart from price standardisation, the certification of the second station as a Petronas fuel supplier would, once and for all, overcome the shortage of petrol and diesel, as what the locals had experienced previously.
“Last time, (it was) only one shipment a week. Adding in technical and human factors like festive seasons (when workers would take leave), it would cause further delays (in transportation and supply) – thus, resulting in fuel shortage.
“Now, there are two barges to transport the fuel via a twice-weekly shipment to Kapit. So, there should be no problem in terms of transportation,” said the deputy minister, who was accompanied by Palawan assemblyman David Wong, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) deputy director (special operations and enforcement) in Putrajaya Rosli Ahmad and KPDNHEP Sarawak director Stanley Tan, KPDNHEP Kapit officer Idrus Nalin, DAP Sungai Kapit chairman Teng Mee Hieng, and DAP Bukit Goram chairman Larry Asap.
Petronas Sarawak head of regional retail sales and operations Patrick Lenggang Ulok, and its territory manager (retail sales and operations) Abby Sukardy Mohamad were also present.