06 February 2012

Petrol Pumps in Miri discovered dispensing less fuel

Recently, it was reported that a petrol kiosk in Miri was discovered to dispense 14% less fuel than stated on its meter. This was discovered by the officers of Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism (MDTCC) and Metrology Corporation Malaysia (MCM) Sdn Bhd during a routine check. This is an offence under section 30(1) of the Weights and Measures Act 1972, punishable by fine of up to RM250,000-00 for firms and RM15,000-00 for individuals. The petrol station was closed until calibrations, which take half a day, are completed. Each pump or nozzle calibrated will cost the petrol station owner RM104.60. (Source: Borneo Post Online, 28th January 2012. Short-changed by petrol kiosk. URL: http://www.theborneopost.com/2012/01/28/short-changed-by-petrol-kiosk/)

Shortly after that, state MDTCC director Wan Ahmad Uzir Wan Sulaiman was reported saying that MDTCC will conduct surprise checks at all petrol stations, due to the shocking discovery of 19 tampered fuel pumps in Miri. Petrol station owners could be fined up to RM15,000-00 or face imprisonment of up to two (2) years. Apparently 29 petrol stations were checked during the routine check. If a pump is suspected to be tampered, the petrol station can be shut down, its fuel pumps sealed and equipment confiscated until the investigation is completed. The state director urged motorists who suspected that they were getting less petrol from the petrol pump to report to the authorities. (Source: Borneo Post Online, 2nd February 2012. Ministry to conduct surprise checks on all petrol stations. URL: http://www.theborneopost.com/2012/02/02/ministry-to-conduct-surprise-checks-on-all-petrol-stations/)

When you come to think about it, 19 tampered petrol pumps found in 29 petrol stations means that there is a 65% chance that the petrol pump has been tampered with. All the more reason for routine checks to be carried out. But then again, as a popular saying goes, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." (Source: Wikipedia. Lies, damned lies, and statistics. URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lies,_damned_lies,_and_statistics)

Metrology Corporation Malaysia (MCM) Sdn Bhd is the government-linked corporation that provides verification services of weighing and measuring instruments used for trade in Malaysia. From its website:
Metrology Corporation Malaysia Sdn Bhd was incorporated with the sole objective of providing the verification and re-verification services for all weighing and all measuring instruments use for trade in Malaysia. The company started operation on the 4th April, 2005. Before that all the weighing and measuring instruments were verified and re-verified by the Metric Unit, Enforcement Division, Ministry of Domestic Trade And Consumer Affairs.

All weighing and measuring instruments use for trade need to be verified first before use and re-verified once every twelve months thereafter as stipulated by the Weight and Measures Act 1972. It is an offence to use weighing or measuring instrument without valid verification or re-verification.

The main objective of the government in privatising the verification and re-verification works is to enable more weighing and measuring instruments be verified and re-verified as well as the services could be provided faster. This will benefit the people as well as the business community and the country. Accurate and correct weighing and measuring is one of the basic tenets of trade, fair to the buyer as well as the seller.
(Source: Metrology Corporation Malaysia official website. About Us. URL: http://www.metrology.com.my/english/mcm-company.htm

A copy of the Weight and Measures Act 1972 can be downloaded here.