KUALA LUMPUR: Market forces dictated that November fuel prices should have increased by 20 sen per litre, but Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said it should be restricted to a “fairer” 15 sen instead.
Second Finance Minister Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani told reporters that Najib had felt that it would be “unfair” to increase the price to that extent.
“Based on October (global crude oil) prices, November (pump) prices were supposed to increase by 20 sen, but the Prime Minister felt we should not increase it that much,” he said.
He explained that monthly fuel prices were dependant on the average price of the preceding month.
“The average price from Oct 1 to Oct 31 is used for November. Fuel prices went up in October so the average is used for November.
“Hopefully, if the market improves in November, there will be no need for an increase and maybe we can even reduce it,” he said.
He added that fuel prices also depended on the relative strength of the Malaysian currency against the US dollar.
“If our currency is lower compared with the dollar, that would affect oil prices,” he said.
As of Nov 1, fuel prices increased by 15 sen, with RON95 petrol retailing at RM1.95 per litre (from RM1.80 previously), RON97 at RM2.30 per litre (from RM2.15) and diesel to RM1.90 per litre from RM1.75.