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Puzzle over sugar, diesel shortage in Sabah

 | July 2, 2013

Consumers and businesses left fuming about the lack of these essential commodities ahead of the Ramadan month

KOTA KINABALU: The frequent disappearance of sugar from store shelves and diesel from fuel stations in the state has raised concerns over the supply of these two essential commodities.

Reports have emerge that stores in many parts of the state have been forced ration their stocks of sugar the past two weeks while drivers with diesel-driven vehicles have been known to go to various stations in search of diesel.

The situation began more than a month ago but has increased with many reportedly stranded and seen queuing for diesel at fuel stations here today.

Social activist and lawyer, Peter Marajin, told FMT that he had to cancel a trip to a kampung in Kota Belud on Sunday to celebrate the ‘Tadau Kaamatan’ or the harvest festival as he could not get diesel for his vehicle.

“There was no diesel at the petrol stations in Kota Kinabalu. I went to a several stations but was told there was no diesel.

“The authorities must explain,” he said, adding that the government should ensure diesel supply is always adequate so as not to disrupt productivity and the daily businesses of Malaysian consumers.

Shortage to be resolved soon

He wondered if the same was happening in the peninsula or if this was unique to Sabah, an oil and gas exporting state.

A check with several petrol stations here revealed that they had run out of diesel after supply was not forthcoming for the past few days to replenish station tanks.

“No diesel today, but we were told supply would come soon… maybe tomorrow,” said one worker at a station in the city.

Meanwhile, the sugar shortage the past two weeks in the city is said to be due to a short supply from a sugar manufacturer in the peninsula.

The deputy director of the Federal Co-operative and Consumer Affairs department, Suhaimi Mat Sari, has assured the shortage of sugar in Sabah would be resolved this week when the shipment comes in.

His assurance came as consumers started fuming about the lack supply of sugar ahead of the Ramadan month when Muslims observe a month-long fast and the Aidilfitri celebrations at the end of the month.


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