Big-time smuggling of dieselPosted: April 27, 2008
Read this in the Malaysian Insider, and was just wondering, exactly how many people know about this?
The ‘untouchable’ multi-millionaire diesel smuggler
KUALA LUMPUR, April 27 — Some are businessmen. Some are triad members. Some are politicians. But they have a few similarities: they are politically-connected or enjoy the patronage of law enforcement agencies in their state or districts and they head some of the biggest diesel smuggling syndicates in Malaysia.
On average, each of them earns up to RM50 million a year from diverting heavily subsidised diesel from petrol stations or fishermen to factories and construction sites in Malaysia or to waiting barges and fishing boats headed for Thailand and Philippines.
Over the past two years, the government has been paying between RM20 and RM30 billion in subsidies so that certain categories of Malaysians can enjoy lower prices at the pump. But in reality much of the consignment of the subsidised diesel has not reached their target market. In short, billions of ringgit in subsidies in being wasted on Malaysia’s neighbours.
The Insider has learnt that the use of nano markers has enabled the government to prevent about RM1 billion in subsidised diesel from being smuggled out of the country or diverted to consumers not entitled to get the subsidies. But this figure can easily hit RM5-RM10 billion if Customs, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs and police officials crack down on the big syndicate bosses.
Interestingly, the diesel purchased by fishermen has almost tripled in the last three years from 320 million litres to 1.2b litres but without a corresponding increase in the fish haul. This suggests that many of the fishermen are selling their consignment of subsidised diesel to syndicates. In view of the food security crisis affecting Malaysia, the trend of fishermen not going out to sea is an alarming one.
Full article here.
This paints a very worrying picture.
I’m not savvy on economics, but I do know that fuel subsidy should be enjoyed by the people of Malaysia, from drivers of buses to everyday normal people who need to drive to work everyday. Definitely not for syndicates who sell off diesel to outsiders who do not deserve this “discount” that is reserved for us Malaysians.
Another thing that’s worrying. Seems like this smuggling thing goes very high up in the political triangle as well. Nothing new here, is there? It’s always been known that politicians in the country have ways and means of earning themselves millions of ringgit. And even more ways and means of getting away with it.
This is robbing the country. Plain and simple. If Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is in anyway sincere about his wanting reform, and the ACA to be transparent, they might want to start looking at this. No point giving ceramahs and lessons on how to be corruption-free. Instead of spending wasting time and money on trying to educate these people who are already too corrupt to be saved, they might as well expose these people of their deeds, and hand out due punishment.
Unless, of course, Pak Lah is also involved, and the ACA is actually not independent at all. (Not making any statement, this is mere speculation.) I don’t know really, what’s happening behind closed doors. But these doors should be broken if they’re hiding culprits and criminals who are bringing the country down.