S’poreans fume over fuel ruling

Desiree Tresa Gasper & Brendan Vive Suppiah
The Star

Singaporeans are complaining that a ruling banning foreign-registered vehicles from filling up with RON 95 petrol is unfair to them.

They are also confused about whether they are totally prohibited from buying petrol in Malaysia or if they are allowed to buy limited quantities of lower grade fuel.

For most Singaporeans, apparently, it is the cheaper fuel here that draws them to Malaysia and Johor in particular.

Singaporean civil servant Tok Eng Seng, 38, said the frequent changes in the petrol ruling were confusing.

“We spend a lot of money here and we should be allowed to fill up with whichever type of petrol we want,” he added.

Another Singaporean, property agent Eric Tan, 43, said the lower price of fuel was the only attraction that led to many Singaporeans coming to the state.

“I believe sales of products in Johor Baru will go down once the ruling is enforced,” he said, adding that the move was bad for Malaysia’s tourism.

Art, photography and design executive Alex Soh, 37, also felt that many Singaporeans would not come to Johor if the price of petrol was increased.

“Cheaper petrol is one of the major attractions,” he added.

Derrick Cheng, 53, said many Singaporeans were unclear about the issue.

“I heard people saying that the price of petrol would go up while others say that we (Singaporeans) can still buy the lower grade of petrol but are only allowed to purchase 20 litres,” he said.

“It is unfair to charge separate rates for foreigners because it doesn’t comply with the free trade system that is supposed to be practised by the Malaysian Government,” he added.

Salesman Ken Tan, 28, said there were traffic jams at the Causeway and because of that, many Singaporeans expected cheaper petrol when they return to their country.

Brandon Teh, 26, a Malaysian who drives a Singapore-registered car, is even more puzzled by the changes in petrol purchase.