Friday, July 26, 2013

Diesel shortage getting worse in the West Coast

I blog about unleaded gasoline prices around the world recently, here.

I expressed my support for review of the fuel subsidy policy towards cheaper car prices with un-subsidised fuel trade-off. In a sudden twist of event, we quickly found ourselves panicking over shortage of diesel in the West Coast of Sabah.

I travelled up north yesterday and intended to refuel on my way, along Tuaran Road only to find myself completely disappointed as the first two gas stations on my route  have ran out of diesel early in the morning. Note: There seemed to be no problem with petrol supply - RON 95 and RON 97.

I demand an answer, too. An immediate one!

 The second gas station without diesel. "Sir, please come back tomorrow. Early morning"

Long queue near Tuaran township. Managed to refuel here.

At one of the stations, I was asked to come back early the next morning as they have "just ran out of diesel" moments ago. Mind you, it was only 9.30am and I am not sure how early would I need to come to queue up. They expect me to bring along my pillow, perhaps!

Reason for the diesel shortage

People speculated about the real reason behind the shortage as it is not the first time we have such problem concerning diesel. Speculation or not, someone has to answer and act quickly before the people start thinking that you are a lame duck.

Here is what some think the reason behind it:

  • Limited amount of subsidised diesel. The Domestic Trade, Consumerism and Co-operatives Ministry only allowed a fixed amount of subsidy for a particular company to sell their diesel in a year, and once the subsidy is used up for that year, the oil company will be forced to continue to sell their diesel on a non-subsidised basis.
That means the company is actually subsidising for the consumers. Therefore, the oil company will rather not sell more because they will lose money.
  • Possible abuse. The subsidised diesel is being bought to feed the industrial uses. The price of the industrial use diesel is much more expensive than the subsidised domestic use diesel. It is a no-brainer, there is big profit in selling the domestic use diesel to the industrial users.

TheGreenMechanics: The ministry concerned cannot put a blind eye on the issue because it is real, and it is not just some complaints from the opposition parties. I am directly affected as I travel quite a lot in my job and a dry tank does not help at all.

Please help!

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