Barisan Nasional (BN) has slammed the opposition for backpedalling on statements about the increase in fuel prices, asking them to apologise to the public for giving misleading information.
BN’s Strategic Communication Team said DAP’s national publicity secretary Tony Pua and PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail had both made conflicting statements on the issue recently.
“Two days ago, Tony Pua and Wan Azizah said the government had no basis for increasing retail petrol in February because crude oil prices went down in January.
“Today, after being told by us that petrol prices are based on refined oil and not crude oil, Tony Pua in his statement today suddenly agrees and concedes that refined petrol prices have gone up in January compared to the month before.
“This means Tony Pua and Wan Azizah’s previous statements of no basis for increase is wrong,” the team said in a statement, today.
The team also advised Pua to better understand the economics and market reality of petrol prices before making baseless statements or calculations that were not only untrue, but designed to intentionally mislead and incite Malaysians.
“Tony Pua calculated that the average MOPS95 price for December 2016 is US$66.55(RM294.42) per barrel. That works out to RM1.8753 per litre at the then exchange rate of US$1 to RM4.48.
“He has got the December 2016 MOPS95 average pricing roughly correct but is wrong on the average exchange rate as per Bank Negara’s official exchange rate data.
“The average exchange rate for the MOPS trading days in December 2016 is US$1 to RM4.4599 and not RM4.48 as given by Tony Pua,” it said.
MOPS, or Mean of Platts Singapore is a price assessment system for the pricing of petrol and diesel.
The team said Pua also failed to realise that drivers do not pump petrol directly from the refinery, noting that petrol needed to be purchased by oil companies, marketed and dispensed at petrol stations, all of which incurs costs.
It said, these charges for RON95 have clearly been detailed by the Government’s Automated Pricing Mechanism (APM) since April 1983.
“It comprises of a five sen ‘Alpha’ to account for price variations at time of purchase from refinery, 9.54 sen for transportation and marketing costs, 5 sen margin for oil companies and 12.19 sen for the petrol station margin.
“Therefore, Tony Pua’s calculations of RM1.8753 per litre for the month of December which determines January 2017 pricing is wrong,” it said.
It noted that the APM price including the regulated margins and cost for January 2017 is RM2.19 per litre, which is 9 sen more expensive than the pump price of RM2.10 for that month.
The team noted that Pua also attempted to calculate the pump pricing for February and claimed that the MOPS95 averaged slightly higher at US$68.820 (RM304.46) per barrel in January, translating to RM1.9130 per litre based on an average exchange rate of US$1 to RM4.42.
“However, he got both the average MOPS pricing and the exchange rate wrong. The average exchange rate for January 2017 should be RM4.45, not RM4.42 as claimed by Tony (Pua),” it said.
On top of that, it added that Pua’s price of RM1.9130 per litre also did not include the APM margins and costs and that the APM price for February 2017 should be RM2.262 per litre, which is 3.8 sen lower than the RM2.30 pump price for February 2017.
“The fact that there was a 9 sen undercharging in January and a 3.8 sen overcharging in February shows why there is a need for a managed float.
“Without this moderation, RON95 petrol prices would have jumped 30 sen from December to January and 10 sen from January to February. However with the managed float, petrol prices increased 20 sen for January and February instead,” it said.
The team noted that with the managed float system and the APM system, prices would rise and fall based on global refined petrol prices, thus monthly petrol prices should not be an issue for the opposition to politicize every month.
Plus, they added that Malaysia has been consistently ranked among the top 15 cheapest retail petrol price among 180 countries in the world.
Source : @ Bernama