KUALA LUMPUR, April 25 — Petronas Dagangan Bhd (PDB) is in close communication with the Ministry of Finance on the increase of fuel subsidy bills amid the rising global crude oil prices.

PDB managing director/chief executive officer Azrul Osman Rani said PDB understood the current predicament with the higher crude oil prices impacting Malaysia and other nations. 

“If we look at Thailand today, we are looking at RON95 equivalent to RM5 (per litre). In Singapore, it is close to RM10 (per litre).

“So, there will be a deepening concern with regards to the ballooning fuel subsidy budget that the government will have to shoulder,” he told reporters during a virtual media conference after PDB’s annual general meeting today.

He said PDB would support and continue to work with the government as well as with the overall oil and gas industry that is operating in Malaysia.

“I think there are still several discussion points that we need to finalise and iron out and we will be working mostly with them to ensure a smooth and sustainable model that the country can adopt,” he added. 

On the reopening of the international border since April 1, Azrul said PDB was not yet back when it comes to jet fuel.

“However, we have seen a significant improvement over the financial year last year with quite good first-quarter performance. There are many other factors that impacting the business, not just the volume but is also the movement of prices.

“This is something that we are monitoring closely and hoping to leverage on our capabilities, and infrastructures across international airports as well as to also serve the customers that would require more jet fuels as the borders open up,” he added.

In early March, Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said the government would review the fuel and cooking oil subsidy mechanism so that it would be more targeted toward aiding and subsidising the vulnerable groups and those who really need help.

He said that the government could be paying up to RM28 billion in subsidies for petrol, diesel and liquefied petroleum gas for 2022 as the Russian-Ukrainian war has pushed crude oil prices over US$100 (RM436) per barrel, the highest level seen since 2014. — Bernama