Thursday, June 26, 2008


Fuel stations to operate as usual, Association assures


Petrol kiosks throughout Sabah will operate as usual, assured Sabah Petroleum Dealers Association President Charles Soong. The assurance came a day after rumours of a five-day closure of fuel stations and a new fuel price hike sparked widespread panic buying yesterday. The mad rush to refuel started at about 1pm with long queues of vehicles along the roads leading to petrol kiosks, which caused serious traffic congestion. Many motorists were taking no chances after receiving the information via SMS or word of mouth, and continued to wait until late a night for their turns to fill up their tanks. About three hours after the panic buying started, massive traffic jams were occurring all around the city and the outskirts. Soong, when contacted yesterday to comment on the mad rush, said that he had no idea how the rumours started. He however revealed that there was a directive from the National Petroleum Dealers Association for all dealers to stop accepting the use of credit cards for the purchase of fuels. “The national Association is asking the Government to meet a few more requirements, including raising our commission to an acceptable level and if that demand is not met, we plan not to sell fuel for eight hours tomorrow (June 26). “What happened yesterday (Tuesday) was beyond our imagination. We do not want to see a repetition of that incident and has agreed that we will not go ahead with the plan to stop selling fuels for eight hours business will resume as usual,” he stressed. Soong said several petrol kiosks were still thronged by car owner yesterday morning but the number of motorists involved in the panic buying dropped by noon. “We have come to terms that w will try negotiating with the Government to make sure our demands are met. I think it is best to overcome the problem through the proper channels, after all we have a responsible and caring Government; I am sure they (Government) will find a way to ensure that our demands are fulfilled,” he said. He also said that they will also continue accepting credit cards, as usual.