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PUBLISHED: Oct 16, 2014 10:56pm

Show us your numbers, oil and gas expert tells govt

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HAMZAH NAZARI By:
Hamzah Nazari

Oil and gas expert Anas Alam Faizli has urged the government to issue a monthly subsidy report, along with a breakdown.

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 16, 2014:

This morning, the Malaysian government’s fuel subsidy came to an end — or at least temporarily.

This was when as the price of RON95 fuel bought by the government and the price it was sold to the Malaysian public became equal, according to oil and gas expert Anas Alam Faizli.

“As of this morning, it broke even.

“If the retail price retains at RM2.30 (per litre) and the Mean of Platts Singapore (MOPS) drops further, it becomes a tax,” Anas told The Rakyat Post, pointing out that the price of RON95 was trending downward for the past two weeks.

Anas explained that Malaysia calculated fuel prices according to the MOPS, which was based on the daily average of transactions between buyer and seller of petroleum-based products and was updated by Platts, combined with other add-ons.

However, Anas said the information available to the public may not be accurate as some information was not made publicly available by the government.

“We don’t know the government’s price. Maybe they buy in bulk. Maybe they pay a fixed price. The price they receive, we don’t see.”

He said that the only information available was what could be found on the Internet, although Anas said he believed it was accurate.

But in order to find out the true situation, he said the government must practise an open-book policy.

If the government wants to do subsidy rationalisation, Anas said it should be open about it.

He then urged the government to issue a monthly subsidy report, along with a breakdown.

“We want to know the actual numbers, not just for fuel but for everything.”

The government, he said, was announcing “big numbers” when talking about subsidies, but was unsure how much went to real users on the street.

There were, however, he argued, mechanisms to allow accurate estimation.

“The onus is on government to show their numbers.”

On Oct 1, the Malaysian government cut fuel subsidies by 20 sen, raising the street price of RON95 to RM2.30 per litre, which it claimed was part of the rationalisation of subsidies, which would save the government billions of ringgit.

More recently, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced that RON95 fuel would not be subjected to the 6% Goods and Services Tax (GST), which would be implemented from April 1, 2015.

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