Khairy Jamaluddin has sardonically congratulated Putrajaya for stabilising the petrol price, as pledged in the Pakatan Harapan manifesto six months ago.
Taking to Facebook today, the Rembau MP said unlike the previous administration, the Harapan government must be prioritising the rakyat by fixing the petrol price at RM2.20 per litre since May to ensure there is no petrol price hike.
"However, what was said by my 'lunch buddy' Rafizi Ramli is true: Isn't the global crude oil price dropping?
"Indeed, Harapan had imposed a 'sales tax' on the sales of petrol for the past six weeks," said Khairy, who holds the opposition's shadow finance ministry portfolio.
"Meaning, the rakyat has paid more than the market price for over the six weeks. Not only did they not benefit from the subsidy, but they have been taxed by the government every time they fill up their tanks."
A check on the world crude oil price, Khairy said, showed that RON95 for this week had dropped to approximately RM1.94 per litre, while the previous weeks' recorded rates were between RM1.95 and RM2.18 per litre.
He pointed out, however, that the rakyat could not complain about paying higher petrol prices as Harapan only promised to stabilise, and not reduce fuel prices.
Yesterday, Rafizi penned an open letter to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng to urge Putrajaya to return to the weekly managed float system for fuel – as had been practised under the BN administration – given the falling price of crude oil.
Rafizi said, by using a weekly formula, the price for RON95 would have seen a 20-sen drop in the coming weeks.
This came after Lim said Putrajaya used the monthly average price of Brent crude to determine how much it has to subsidise to maintain the ceiling price of RM2.20 per litre for RON95.
He stated that the government would only recalibrate Budget 2019 if the average crude oil price drops to below US$50 per barrel, as the ministry had prepared next year’s budget based on the crude oil price of US$70 per barrel.
Concurring with Rafizi, Khairy opined that the government should review the oil prices on a weekly basis, as this mechanism is better and more transparent given the floating of crude oil price worldwide.
While waiting for the government to announce the retail price of petrol, the former Umno Youth chief expressed his hope that the government would justify the profit that has been collected by the government in the past six weeks.
"Since the government constantly mentions transparency in its administrative agenda, I do hope that the government will reveal to the rakyat the new Automatic Pricing Mechanism (APM) method which will be implemented next year," he said.
Khairy said Harapan's decision to bring back APM system used by the previous administration from 1983 to 2014 only showed that BN made the correct decision back then.