According to a news report by The Star Online on 31st of March 2017, petrol station operators are no longer allowed to offer discounts on fuel for now. In this online news report, Akhtar Sahari, Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry corporate communications head, said
“Petrol station operators will not be allowed to offer discounts on fuel for the time being”
Furthermore, he also added that there is a possibility that these petrol station operators will be given permission again sometime in the future to offer promotions on fuel. However, for now, all petrol station operators need to follow the retail prices that are set by the Ministry.
He said that while the Ministry allows petrol station operators to give discounts, they are not allowed to give discounts right now until the new measures have been taken. According to Akhtar Sahari, he is unable to give a specific timeframe on when these new measures will be taken by the Ministry at this point of time.
In order to address the concerns voiced by some of the low volume petrol station operators, Akhtar Sahari said that the Ministry will come up with a proper guideline to address those concerns. He has also reminded all consumers to be cautious of smartphone apps that display the listings of fuel prices by saying that these listings can be inaccurate.
After screenshots of a smartphone app listing lower fuel prices went viral online, the Ministry responded by releasing an official statement to state that there was no price war between the petrol stations.
The Ministry also released an official statement declaring that all of the petrol stations must sell their fuel at retail prices and these retail prices must be set by the Malaysian Government.
Sometime early this month, Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin, Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Minister, stated that the petrol station operators have two choices to follow when it comes to selling the fuel at retail prices. They can either follow the ceiling price under the new system or offer lower fuel prices in order to promote their petrol stations. However, before doing any promotions, the petrol station operators require a prior approval from the Ministry.
Following that statement by Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin, the Petrol Dealers Association of Malaysia chipped in to voice out their concerns that small dealers in rural areas will find it difficult to sell their fuel on discounts.