Ministry urged to standardise price of liquefied petroleum gas

KUCHING: The Ministry of Domestic Trade Co-operative and Consumerism has been urged to find a solution with a view to standardise the price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in view of the rising cost of living in the country.

Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong said LPG — also known as domestic cooking gas, a commonly used item by every household and most hawkers selling food — had a fixed retail price of RM26.60.

However, she said end users usually had to fork out between RM28 and RM30 for a 14kg cylinder gas tank.

“After surveying the market and obtaining the official figure, I have found out that LPG producers get RM21.70 per cylinder, while wholesalers would have to pay RM25.60 for each 14kg cylinder gas tank. The wholesaler earns RM1 from retailers who are charged RM26.60 for the tank.

“By the time it is sold to consumers, the price of each tank will vary depending on the distance and transportation charges,” she told a press conference at state DAP headquarters here yesterday.

Yong, who is also state DAP organising secretary, said it was unreasonable for consumers to shell out a hefty sum for cooking gas when Sarawak itself was an oil and gas producing state.

“The people should be enjoying better benefits, instead of paying more for their cooking gas.”

She said with cooking oil being a controlled-price item, the same could also be implemented on LPGs.

“If the government can standardise the price of cooking oil, why is it so difficult for it to fix a price for cooking gas?

“I, therefore, urge the government to reduce the profit margin of the producers because taking care of the people’s needs and wants are far more important,” she said, suggesting that the government should subsidise the transportation charges.

Meanwhile, Batu Kawah assemblywoman Christina Chiew said she had received numerous complaints from the public about the ineffectiveness of the traffic light at Jalan Matang (heading towards Lee Ling e-Mart from Kubah Ria). She said the traffic light was located at the junction of Taman Matang and Metro City new township.

“Prior to the construction works to upgrade the road into a dual carriageway, vehicles were allowed to make a U-turn. But if one wants to drive from Kubah Ria, the traffic light does not allow vehicles to make U-turn into Taman Matang Avenue. One will have to use the roundabout near Lee Ling e-Mart to make a turn,” she said.

This, she said, was ‘time consuming’ for the residents during peak hours, especially in the evening.

“It has caused a lot of inconvenience to the people as on average, they have to spend at least five minutes to queue before they can make a turn at the roundabout.”

Chiew said if drivers were allowed to make a U-turn at the traffic light, it would not only ease traffic jams but also save the people’s time and the fuel consumption of their vehicles.

She said she had written a letter to Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) and the Public Works Department (JKR) to request for an adjustment of the traffic light’s setting.

“I’ve been informed that one of the residents has collected signatures from other residents to appeal to the relevant authorities (JKR and DBKU) for further action to be made. But it has been more than three months and nothing has been done to alleviate the problem.

“I hope the relevant authorities would take prompt action on this matter,” she said.-Borneo Post

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