Transport agent to feel the heat for high-priced cooking gas

Deputy consumer affairs minister Chong Chieng Jen says transport costs are subsidised by the government. (Bernama pic)

KUCHING: The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs will look into reports of people paying excessively high price for cooking gas in Bario.

Deputy Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Chong Chieng Jen said the government had awarded contracts on April 1 for the transport of liquified petroleum gas, diesel, RON 95 petrol, sugar, rice, flour and cooling oil to remote places in Sarawak.

The people in Bario should not be paying RM65 per tank of LPG, he said. If prices were high, it might be that the appointed transporters in Bario had failed to carry out their work.

“We will not tolerate such lackadaisical attitude,” he said. Stern action would be taken, which might include the replacement of the appointed transport agent.

“Under the transport subsidy contracts, the ministry pays the whole cost of transport to rural areas of Sarawak so that their prices will be the same as those sold in the city areas,” he said.

A total of RM140 million was allocated for the transport subsidy in 2019, of which about RM80 million is for Sarawak. The contracts were awarded by open tender, which had caused a delay from the scheduled start in January.