KUCHING, April 22 — The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs will conduct an investigation into reports that liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tanks are being sold for RM65 each in rural Bario, its deputy minister Chong Chieng Jen said today.
He said the people of Bario should be paying RM26.60 for a 14kg LPG tank, similar to the price in towns following the award of transport subsidy contracts to transporters from April 1 this year.
“Under the transport subsidy contracts, the ministry will pay the appointed transporters the costs of transportation to supply LPG, diesel, RON 95, sugar, rice, flour and cooling oil to the remote places in Sarawak,” Chong said.
He said a total of RM140 million is allocated for the transport subsidy programme this year, out of which about RM80 million is allocated for Sarawak.
He said the ministry has also adopted an open tender system in the selection and appointment of the transporters who in the past were all appointed through direct negotiations.
Chong said if the reports that the 14kg LPG tank is sold at RM65 were found to be true, then it raised a serious issue of the appointed transporters for the Bario zone not carrying out their work despite having been duly appointed.
“We will not tolerate such lackadaisical manner of carrying out the contracts awarded by the ministry for the benefit of the people,” he said, pointing out that stern action will be taken against transporters, which may include replacing them.