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PETALING JAYA, Jan 12 — Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail today confirmed that petrol dealers have been asked to display petrol price comparison of other Asean countries in an effort to promote transparency and prevent misinformation.
Saifuddin was responding to Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin who earlier said petrol dealers nationwide were ‘forced’ to display the price comparison list of other Asean countries in a circular signed by the ministry’s secretary-general Datuk Muez Abd Aziz.
“Consumer empowerment exists when consumers have full information regarding a product, what more on sensitive crude oil price. That is why other the prices of other countries are displayed so they are informed.
“The setting of market price for petrol is an issue discussed openly by the people. They know every movement of crude oil prices and how much it should fall. So the government has to be transparent and open in providing information,” he said in a series of tweets to Khairy.
Slm Sdr @Khairykj . Respons saya begini:— Saifuddin Nasution (@saifnasution) 12 January 2019
1) Penetapan harga minyak runcit adalah isu yang dibincangkan secara terbuka oleh rakyat. Rakyat tahu pergerakan harga minyak dunia dan berapa sepatutnya turun. Jadi, kerajaan juga harus telus dan terbuka dalam memberikan maklumat. https://t.co/kkWscNPesQ
Yesterday, Khairy posted a photo depicting the price per litre of petrol and diesel for Asean countries such as Singapore, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippine, Vietnam, Indonesia and Myanmar.
Khairy said many had condemned Barisan Nasional and said it was not relevant to compare with other countries when it introduced similar comparison before this.
Saifuddin Nasution said if prices of other countries other than Malaysia dropped, consumers would definitely be able to question the government on the matter and that could only take place if the government was transparent in displaying market prices of neighbouring countries.
He also thanked Khairy for bringing up the issue of Brunei being left out in the list of Asean countries.
“I have instructed the price listing of Brunei that was left out to be included in the list. There is no hiding of information because the consumers have the rights to every information.
“It does not make sense to hide Brunei’s price listing because such information are out there and the people can scrutinise themselves. I am committed to be always open to communication especially regarding the issue of petrol prices.
“The missing Brunei information will be included and I have instructed my officers to be more vigilant,” he said.
Khairy had suggested that Brunei was intentionally exempted to show that Malaysia has the lowest price in the region in a response to a user who inquired why Brunei was missing.