The government is looking into a new mechanism to allow for more frequent adjustment of fuel prices, instead of the ongoing monthly review, said Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Shahrir Abdul Samad.
“World crude oil prices (change) very quickly, so we need a new approach to handle this. If we wait too long and there is a big drop, then petrol stations will be affected,” Shahrir (left) told reporters in the Parliament lobby.
He was asked to comment on Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim’s debate on the Budget 2009 in the House earlier today.
Anwar had called on the government to reduce fuel prices sharply in response to the falling global prices.
Shahrir said details of the new mechanism will be discussed at an economic council meeting to be chaired by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi later today.
Barisan Nasional component party Gerakan had called for a weekly review of oil prices in resolutions adopted at its national congress, which concluded yesterday.
Shahrir had previous said that the government is open to the idea of a fortnightly review.
Monthly review system
The government had announced on Aug 2 that fuel prices would be reviewed monthly beginning Sept 1, based on the average global market price and after taking into consideration the fixed domestic subsidy of 30 sen per litre.
In announcing this, Abdullah had pledged that petrol prices for the rest of the year will not exceed RM2.70 per litre.
Asked about the call by Anwar (right) for a fresh budget to be tabled in the House, Shahrir said he is of the view that the need does not arise.
“Any revision can be done as we go along,” he explained.
In his maiden debate on the budget as opposition leader, Anwar and opposition colleagues had called for the discussion to be adjourned and for a fresh budget to be presented.
He explained that the current global financial woes have rendered Budget 2009 outdated. It was tabled in August by Abdullah in his capacity as first finance minister then.
AR: Mekanisme baru nak rompak wang rakyat, itu aje yang AR pahami....... Aku cadang kat Malaysia nih, harga minyak berubah tiap2 hari cam kat UK nun, ada berani????