Thailand-reg car caught using subsidised RON95 fuel –

It’s commonly known, especially in border states, that foreign-registered vehicles are prohibited from buying RON 95 petrol, which is heavily subsidised by the government. That sales ban has been around for a good while, having been introduced on August 1, 2010.

Of course, because action can’t be taken against individuals for doing so, the action persists, and you continue to find instances of foreign vehicles slipping under the no-RON 95 radar, with the action not just limited to Singaporean cars.

Take, for example, the Thailand-registered vehicle that was caught on camera being tanked up with the fuel, the snap presumably being taken in Subang Jaya, given that the photo was posted on the USJ Community FB page. Staff at the station may have been unaware of what was happening, given that one can always pay with a credit card and as such, not attract attention, but the point is, anyone can do it, not just our southern neighbours.

If anything, the incident serves to remind that enforcing the ban will continue to be difficult, more so in areas where there’s less scrutiny and monitoring present, unless a fine is imposed on those attempting to purchase the fuel. The government can also use such examples in its push for a targeted subsidy – with prices at the pump being expensive for all, there’s likely to be less screams of foreigners taking advantage (no, let’s not bring forex into this).

It was highlighted last year that the domestic trade and consumer affairs (KPDN) can only take action against petrol station operators for the unauthorised sale of RON 95 and not the foreigners who fill up with the petrol, and while the government has said it wants to tighten enforcement with measures that include a proposal to punish the individuals involved, we can expect nothing to change until the law says it will.

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