GEORGE TOWN: The government today announced prices of RON95 petrol and diesel prices were expected to be lower in January, following a downward trend in global oil prices recently.
RON95 is sold at RM2.20 a litre and diesel at RM2.18 a litre at present.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng also said prices of fuel will be set weekly from Jan 1 in view of the downward trend in oil prices.
Fuel prices for RON95 and diesel have remained unchanged since June 7 this year, he said.
In a statement today, he said in the event world oil prices go up, fuel prices locally would be raised to a maximum of RM2.20 for RON95 petrol and RM2.18 for diesel.
Lim said a targeted subsidy system will be introduced later in 2019.
He said the government has subsidised fuels to the tune of RM7.14 billion up to November this year, including RM5.82 billion between May and November.
Lim said as for why prices of fuel did not drop when the world’s oil prices were down, he said it was due to the monthly automatic pricing mechanism (APM) put in place.
He said lower world oil prices now cannot be reflected immediately due to the monthly APM. He gave an example of this month, where the world oil prices had gone down.
Lim said the lower prices could only be reflected the following month.
Hence, the introduction of a weekly APM system from Jan 1, where prices are determined weekly.
He said the current fuel prices are determined based on the Mean of Platts Singapore and current forex rates.
Lim also denied a claim by former prime minister Najib Razak that fuel had been taxed since November and the government had received RM120 million in taxes a week as a result.
He said Najib’s statement was wholly “false” and “slanderous”.
“His slanderous claims are comparable to his earlier claim that 1MDB was profitable when the whole world knew it was the biggest corruption scandal in the history, which has laden Malaysia with a RM1 trillion debt.”