KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 ― Incensed by constant fuel price hikes, a consumer association has reportedly demanded that the government and petrol companies reintroduce the RON92-grade petrol.
English daily theSun reported that the RON92 petrol which was discontinued in 2009 could provide a viable alternative to the middle and lower income group as compared to the RON95, which replaced RON92 in 2009.
The report said industry players declined to comment on RON92's price estimate if it was brought back into the market, but checks with Singapore's LEVO92, comparable to RON92, currently costs RM6.66 to LEVO95 (RON97 equivalent) at RM6.78.
Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association deputy president Yusof Abdul Rahman was quoted saying RON92 could help offset the rising cost of living.
"RON92 could be used for vehicles with lower engine capacity, which mostly belong to those in the lower income group," he reportedly said, adding that the government should also give a subsidy on RON92 to help the bottom 40 per cent group.
Malaysian Muslim Consumer Association chief activist Datuk Nadzim Johan however said that RON92's comeback might have an adverse affect on the environment, believing that the government should initiate a targeted subsidy.
"For example a petrol subsidy could be given to those earning below RM3,000 a month," he reportedly said.
Petrol Dealers Association of Malaysia president Datuk Khairul Annuar Abdul Aziz on the other hand opined that the reintroduction of RON92 would not be a viable solution as the majority of the automotive industry has adjusted to the broad usage of RON95 as the minimum standard.
He said that new cars are designed with RON95 in mind and backtracking will "only create havoc to the industry".
He echoed Nadzim's sentiment and said RON95 and diesel options should be priced and subsidised fairly.
Starting today, RON95 and RON97 petrol will be both be 8 sen cheaper, ending five consecutive weekly price increases.
The Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Ministry announced that RON95 will retail for RM2.30/L and RON97 for RM2.58/L, while diesel will drop by 2 sen to RM2.23/L.