: A six-month freeze has been imposed on applications for wholesale diesel and petrol licence, and the opening of new petrol stations of all brands, starting Monday until December.
Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism (KPDNKK) secretary-general Datuk Seri Alias Ahmad said the temporary freeze was the ministry's effort to combat abuse of the licences.
He said the Minister, Datuk Seri Hasan Malek, had agreed on the implementation of the temporary freeze.
"The six-month freeze is for licence applications to become wholesalers as well as to store diesel and petrol for industrial and domestic use, including for ships. This also includes applications to open new petrol stations of all brands," he said in a statement here on Monday.
Alias said there were elements of abuse in the distribution network of subsidised diesel and petrol, starting at storage depots, wholesalers right up to petrol stations, and the ministry suspected there was cooperation between the parties involved.
During the freeze, the ministry would study the best mechanism to combat abuse and forward it to the government for appropriate action.
Alias said the licences of wholesalers and operators of petrol stations who were found guilty of abetting in abuse of subsidised fuels would immediately be suspended and revoked.
In a related matter, Alias said the quota system for petrol stations near country's borders such as in Johor, Kedah, Perlis, Sabah and Sarawak would be implemented after it is carried out in Kelantan.
"This is to prevent excessive purchase of fuel for abuse. It will be implemented in the near future," he said.
Meanwhile, the Association of Malaysian Enforcement Officers (KPPM) has urged the public and media not to accuse enforcement officers of the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism of working with syndicates in the issue of abuse of subsidised diesel and petrol.
In a statement issued, KPPM president Rus Bakarurraini Shahfei said such accusations should not be made without facts and documents.
He said all the enforcement officers, especially those in KPDNKK were trustworthy and not easily tempted by bribery.
KPDNKK had launched Ops Titik on May 15 to combat diesel smuggling activities, resulting in 124 cases uncovered with seized-value of RM5,391,278.03.
Rus Bakarurraini said the association viewed seriously the accusation that enforcers were involved in abuse of power.