PM: Cabinet to decide on petrol prices today

By BERNAMA

Petroleum retail prices will be determined at a Cabinet meeting today, after considering the interests of both buyers and sellers.

Prime Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the government hopes to be able to reduce the prices of petrol, but all aspects must first be considered.

“We (the government) would like to bring the prices of petrol down, but the people who sell it must also make some profit.

“If they do not, they will not sell it and we will not get any petrol.

“So, we have to balance between the buyers and the sellers (before making a decision on the price of petrol),” the PM told reporters after attending the Langkawi eKasih Back to School programme at SMK Kedawang yesterday.

On Saturday, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said in a statement the retail prices of RON97, RON95 and diesel will remain unchanged at RM2.50, RM2.20 and RM2.18 per litre respectively for several days until the Cabinet meeting.

Lim said the government will ensure the most optimal prices and retail prices of the latest petroleum products would be decided by the end of the first week of 2019.

He said in order to protect consumers from the impact of price increases, the retail prices for petroleum products would be retained at not more than RM2.20 and RM2.18 per litre for RON95 and diesel respectively through subsidies.

The finance minister said the prices would be maintained at that level until the implementation of RON95’s targeted petrol subsidies in mid-2019, before the retail prices of petroleum products are floated at market prices.

Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir said the statement made by Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia VP Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman on granting contracts to cronies was his own personal view and did not represent the party.

“It was not a party decision. He gave his opinion and we are not keeping to it. We do not want to do what Najib (former PM Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak) did, giving (projects) to friends.

“We will consider all projects according to tenders. Whoever is capable can submit their tenders…if they can provide the best, then we will award them (the contract),” Dr Mahathir said.

In Abdul Rashid’s winding-up speech at the second Bersatu annual assembly in Putrajaya recently, he said the Federal Development Department must return to its original role so that the system will benefit division and branch leaders who could “return” the benefits to the local community.

He was also reported as saying contracts for development projects should be granted to division and branch heads. — Bernama