JOHOR, MALAYSIA — Two Singaporeans sparked an altercation at a petrol station in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, last Friday after they were caught attempting to siphon gasoline into a jerrycan, drawing ire from local Malaysians.
This incident on 16 June echoes a familiar trend of Singaporeans capitalizing on the cheaper fuel prices in Malaysia, stirring up tensions between residents of the two nations.
The controversy surfaced when a Malaysian food delivery rider noticed the two Singaporeans filling up their barrel with fuel and decided to intervene, leading to a heated confrontation.
The entire incident was caught on video and shared online by a TikTok user, @matkibot, which had garnered over a million views and fifty-one thousand likes before being removed.
In the footage, two auxiliary police officers can be seen trying to defuse the tense situation while the Singaporean individuals continue to engage in a verbal altercation with the rider.
One of the men, in an apparent attempt to escalate the conflict, retrieves a chain lock from his SUV’s rear compartment. One of them even brandishing a stick-like object from his vehicle’s boot. with demands for video deletion and shouts of, “We no wrong. We ask petrol kiosk ok, he say ok. Then he come here scold people.”
Instances of such behaviours aren’t new, with Singaporeans previously being caught shaking their vehicles aggressively at petrol stations to ensure the tank is completely filled.
While it’s unclear about the exact regulations concerning the import of petrol from Malaysia into Singapore, online forums indicate that it may be permissible for vehicles to carry less than 5 litres of petrol in a separate container, specifically in case the vehicle runs out of fuel on the road. However, it is highly recommended to declare the extra fuel during customs checks.
A jerrycan typically holds 20 litres of liquid.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force and Singapore Statutes Online also stipulate that transporting less than 20 litres of fuel within Singapore without a license is allowed, but it refers to fuel purchased locally in Singapore. The responsibility to record the buyer’s details lies with petrol station operators.
Fuel prices in Malaysia are significantly lower compared to Singapore. RON 97 petrol sells at RM 3.37 (~S$1) in Malaysia, while the 98-octane fuel is priced at S$3.22 in Singapore.
Similarly, RON95 petrol is sold at RM 2.05 in Malaysia, while the 95-octane counterpart in Singapore sells at around S$2.75. It’s important to note that RON95 petrol, due to heavy subsidies by the Malaysian Government, is reserved for Malaysian-registered vehicles only.