Petrol dealers could rake in additional profits of RM900 million a year for RON95 after the Pakatan Harapan government increased their profit margin, Datuk Seri Najib Razak alleged today.
The former prime minister claimed the Pakatan Harapan administration had acted against public interest when it raised the dealer’s profit margin for RON95 by 3 sen to 15 sen, a 23 per cent increase on top of the net profit.
He claimed the retail price for RON95 should have been RM1.90, and not RM1.93 at the pump.
“Following the increase in profit margin added on top of the retail price, Malaysians will have to bear an additional cost of RM900 million (30 billion litre x 0.03 sen) a year,” the former premier wrote on his Facebook page, explaining that the projected consumption for RON95 this year is 30 billion litres.
Najib said petrol dealers would also continue to enjoy the hefty profit margin even if the price of RON95 surpassed RM2.20 a litre as the RM900 million would be subsidised by the government.
“In the worst case scenario where the price increases more than RM2.20 per litre for the entire year, the entire RM900 million will be borne by taxpayers in the form of subsidies,” he wrote.
The Pekan MP said the amount far exceed federal aids for flood victims, poor pupils and the recently disbursed special bonus payment to Federal Land Development Agency (Felda) settlers, which stood at RM165 million, RM328 million and RM77 million respectively.
“Is the PH administration aware of this possibility?” Najib asked.
The retail prices of RON95 and RON97 petrol, as well as diesel, were reduced to RM1.93 per litre, RM2.23 per litre, and RM2.04 per litre respectively starting today until January 11, the Finance Ministry announced yesterday.
RON95 and RON97 petrol retail prices fell 27 sen from RM2.20 and RM2.50 per litre respectively, while diesel dropped 14 sen from RM2.18 per litre.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the retail prices of petrol would change weekly according to the automatic pricing mechanism (APM), in line with the global trend of falling oil prices.
The government had also increased the profit margin for dealers for diesel to 10 sen from 7 sen per litre.
Earlier today, Malaysiakini reported that Najib had singled out DAP MP and Lim’s special officer, Tony Pua, for the decision to raise the profit margin for petrol prices, a move he claimed Barisan Nasional had never done when in power.
The former prime minister noted Pua had advocated for open competition between petrol dealers in the past while accusing the Najib administration of siding businesses.
“Surely Pua would know that the government had increased petrol dealers’ profit margins yesterday — a move than even the Barisan Nasional government did not make,” the news portal quoted him as saying.
“Pua may even be a contributor to that decision. Does this position protect the interest of oil companies or the people?”
Najib also scoffed at the move to reintroduce the floating system, noting that PH had attacked his government when the APM was in place.
He claimed past BN administrations had not increase the profit margins even when retail petrol prices were floated weekly.