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Nine times world champion Valentino Rossi and Francesca Novello are expecting their second child.

Rossi announced the good news in his X social media account with several pictures and the caption “La Franci è incinta, aspettiamo un’altra bambina,” which translates to “Franci is pregnant, we are expecting another little girl.” Yes, their first child was also a girl, named Guilietta.

The photos show Rossi dressed as a doctor attributing to this nickname “The Doctor.” These photos mimic the ones when he announced their first child in 2021. He retired from professional motorcycle racing soon after.

While still retaining his ambassadorship for Yamaha, “The Doctor” is the owner of the VR46 Racing Team that races Ducatis in MotoGP.

Apart from that, Rossi has turned to car racing and has achieved several good results.

He is currently a factory GT3 driver for BMW. The Italian began his GT3 career with the WRT team and Audi in 2022, but the team switched to BMW last year in order to take on its factory World Endurance Championship (WEC) effort in the Hypercar class. As such, the switch to BMW in GT3 was part of the package.

Driving the BMW M4 GT3, Rossi has finished on the podium multiple times in the GT World Challenge Europe (GTWCE) series, including two wins, both at Misano.

This year, he stepped up to WEC in combination with his GTWCE commitments. Rossi scored his first podium earlier this year at round two in Imola. Unfortunately, his #46 BMW was involved in multi-car crashes at Spa. The recent 24 Hours of Le Mans saw his car leading several times before being involved in another multi-car crash.

The Art of Speed Malaysia 2024 (AOS) is going to be bigger than ever. With the tagline “Stop The Violence” this year, it commemorates the year with love without hate, and solidarity without borders.

Malaysia’s biggest annual Kustom & Counter Culture event returns to the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park, Serdang (MAEPS). The site boasts a 42,000 square metre (452,084 sq. ft.) indoor and 3.5 hectare (8.6 acre) outdoor exhibition areas. AOS said that every event hall is locked in and features plenty of fun-filled activities and exhibitions for fans and visitors over the weekend. MAEPS will host Art of Speed 2024 (AOS 2024) on 27 July 2024 (10:00 am – 7:00 pm) and 28 July 2024 (10:00 am – 7:00 pm).

Begin press release:

The AOS 2024 featured guest list from the international custom community and media will include:
  • Shige Suganuma, Shinotsuka “NATQQ” Michihisa & Hey Murakamii from MOONEYES, Japan 

  • Professional Japanese drifter Daigo Saito is coming to AOS 2024. Daigo is a driver with many years of experience and multiple wins under his belt, including the D1 Grand Prix series and Formula Drift series. He also founded his own shop called Fat Five Racing, where he built plenty of outrageous drift cars throughout the years, one notable example being his drift-spec Lamborghini Murcielago. He has since expanded his compound – now known as Fat Five Land – which includes a  lounge/bar, car display and a drift area where you can ride alongside Daigo.

  • Katie’s Customs from Japan featuring a custom Vincent Black Shadow bike (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vincent_Black_Shadow). Founded in 2005, Katie’s Custom Shop is located at the Nishitama District in Tokyo and exudes strong hot rod elements. The owner Mr. Katsuya Tasaki specializes in Harley-Davidsons and his creative vision is to create a silhouette that even people who are not interested in custom culture will think is cool! He has received numerous awards at the famous Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Show.

  • STOOP Motorcycles, Japan – Masato Ikemori from STOOP Motorcycles will be coming to AOS 2024 with his Harley-Davidson Panhead. The Panhead was first introduced in 1948 and was manufactured until 1965, made in both 61 and 74 cubic inch displacements. The nickname “Panhead” refers to the shape of the pressed aluminium valve covers which resembled cooking pans. The Panhead sits high in the hierarchy of Classic Harley-Davidson engines alongside other classics like the Flathead, Knucklehead and Shovelhead.

  • EVILACT, Japan – Born and raised in Yokohama, Japan, Minato Yamamoto grew up under the influence of the counterculture scene made famous in his hometown. Besides founding EVILACT, Minato-san is also a former custom painter and now a fashion designer. Minato-san will be bringing his 1947 Harley-Davidson Knucklehead EL to AOS 2024.
  • Nigel Petrie from Engineered To Slide, Australia – Nigel Petrie is well-known in the scene as a custom car fabricator. His deep obsession with cars and motorcycles has driven him to be a self-taught welder, fabricator, and designer, culminating with his infamous space frame drift Toyota Hilux, built under his brand Engineered To Slide. Over the years, Nigel continues to fine tune his skills and create custom cars and motorcycles to match his unique style.
  • Spinny, Thailand – Best European Custom Bike Winner at Bangkok Hot Rod Show 2024.
  • Little Boy Cycles, Thailand – Best of Show Winner at Bangkok Hot Rod Show 2024.
  • Dino Dalle Carbonare & Alexander Iain from Speedhunters.com, Global.
  • ONE LOW, Masashi Tasaki; Japan – One Low is a famous Volkswagen Speed Shop from Japan, notable for building the MOONEYES Volkswagen Beetle drag car – Moon Bug.
  • Tengku Djan, The Prince of Drift – Tengku Djan Ley bin Tengku Mahaleel is a Malaysian professional drift driver who has competed in the D1 Grand Prix Racing series along multiple drift and race series. He has many accomplishments in his professional racing career such as winning the 12-hour Merdeka Millennium Endurance race consecutively in 2005 and 2006.

  • Makoto from Makoto M&K Custom Signs – Makoto is the artist responsible for the AOS 2024 poster and designer for the Hot Wheels Japan Collectors Convention die-cast car.
  • 2 Percenter, Japan 
  • Masanari Kobyashi from Japan
  • Burnout Magazine, Japan
  • Vibes magazine, Japan – This year the owner of Vibes magazine, Mr. Tosihiro, is coming to AOS 2024. 
  • Ignite magazine, Thailand
  • Cynar, Japan

  • Mow, Australia
  • Choppajoop, Singapore
  • Hisa Artes 66 Paintlab, Indonesia (a collective group of 15 pinstripe artists)
  • Fahmi Freeflow, Indonesia
  • Mill Art, Indonesia
  • Mr. Pinman, Thailand
  • Irvine Jasta, Indonesia
  • Cherry Bomb Pin-Up Parlour, Singapore
  • Bangkok Hot Rod Show, Thailand
  • Mooneyes Bangkok, Thailand
  • Kustomfest, Indonesia
  • Borneo Kustom Show, Brunei
  • BBQ Ride, Indonesia
  • Wicked Wallop, Singapore
  • Ya Seat, Thailand
  • Wheelspin, Thailand
  • Von Dutch, Indonesia
The main highlights for AOS 2024  are:
  • New For 2024! – SoundCircus Takeover by Art of Speed indoor stage. No longer an outdoor festival, SoundCircus is taking over Hall A. Prepare to rock indoors with bands like Spider, Gerhana Ska Cinta, Salam Musik, Jemson X Forcesparkbois, Slatan, 53 Universe and many more. The SoundCircus Takeover will be happening all weekend from 27 to 28 July 2024 at MAEPS Serdang from 2:00 pm to 8:30 pm. Tickets are now available at https://scf.artofspeedmy.com/ticket/ (Early Bird tickets are sold out). *IMPORTANT* As SoundCircus Takeover is an indoor event, parents will need to supervise their children and teenagers.

  • New For 2024! – Art of Speed will be collaborating with Selangor FC (SFC) in support of SFC on-going campaign; “Stop The Violence” crossing over from football to automotive lifestyle.
  • New For 2024! – Community Moto4sale for buying, selling & trade motorcycles below 500cc.
  • New For 2024! – Art of Speed in collaboration with IGL coating with a limited edition mini detailing kit.
  • New For 2024! – There will be 4 collaborations for 2024! First, Art of Speed X Zippo. Second, Art of Speed X Von Dutch (work shirt & cap). Third, Art of Speed X Selangor FC, and the most awaited collab this year will be Art of Speed X MOONEYES.
  • New For 2024! – AOS Invitational Build-Off returns featuring 10 bike builders vying for cash prize and a chance to have their custom vehicle shipped to Japan for The 32nd Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Show 2024. This year builders selected are:
    • Abah & Sons (Padin Musa)
    • Nodie Cycles
    • Acid Welding
    • Zuhalfast
    • RGF
    • Flying Loser
    • Chaos Customs
    • FNG Works
    • Son of Abdul
  • The 2nd Official Hot Wheels Collectors Convention Malaysia will be held again at Hall C after receiving a successful turnout from both collectors and visitors in 2023. At the convention, visitors will be able to experience various activities including Hot Wheels Rare and Collectibles Exhibition, Hot Wheels Swap Buy And Sell, Collector sharing sessions, Hot Wheels Custom Competition and many more. And for one night, dinner will be hosted for the Hot Wheels Collector Convention at Concorde Hotel Kuala Lumpur. AOS 2024 will launch the first ever convention exclusive die-cast model from Mattel factory for Malaysia together with Hot Wheels Design Manager – Vehicles, Dwayne Vance.
  • AOS will continue The Outdoor ThunderCircus “Brotherhood Rally” with a fully dedicated open area for motorcycle riders and enthusiasts, attracting a gathering of various motorcycle makers and brand communities. Highlights for ThunderCircus include a mega ride in, and motorcycle groups from across Malaysia and around the region.
  • In collaboration with NoEqual.co is the NEAT Fest in Hall C, which will feature a collective display of highly curated modified cars from across Malaysia. The cars featured will be some of the tastefully modified from local, Japanese, European and supercars categories.
  • From becoming a staple content of AOS to its own standalone event – Off The Grid will be available again at Hall C. An indoor environment with air-conditioning means the entire family can enjoy the “outdoor lifestyle” without burning out from the sun. There will be plenty of exhibits along with local and international brands to look forward to.
  • Hail Vintage and Streetware Con featuring thrift and streetwear fashion galore at Hall D. Now with even more vendors for 2024. This year features the Backdoor Soundsystem Collective to entertain the crowd all throughout the weekend.
  • Christopher Ng from Motoqar will be this year’s host for our annual Kustom & Koffee Talk inside Hall A at 3.30pm on Saturday, together with overseas panelists. The forum will discuss the latest trends in the bike and car industries.
  • Show & Shine returns in Hall A, featuring the best selection of modified cars and custom motorcycles with an opportunity for Best of Show to win a trip to The 32nd Annual Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Show to be held in December 2024.
Additional AOS 2024 activities include:
  • Roda Rumble 2024 – Two Wheels Gathering & Outdoor Festival supported by Retro Mania
  • La Cultura – Malaysia’s Chicano Culture Appreciation Gathering, which includes a fashion display of Cholo and Chicano style, Dance and DJ show, and more
  • Food Park food vendors and trucks IS NOW OUTDOORS!
  • Automotive flea market
  • Product launching on stage
  • Test Ride Zone for bike (Royal Enfield, Vespa, Aprilia, Triumph, Lambretta, Harley-Davidson, and more)

This year’s lucky draw giveaway on Sunday is a special collaboration between AOS X QARTEL TV. One lucky ticket holder will stand to win ONE (1) modified Honda. This giveaway marks the first ever “modern” vehicle as the prize, chosen for its versatility, efficiency and fun to use. As such AOS has collaborated with Qaqal Jeffry from QARTEL TV who is a renowned Honda expert.

The AOS 2024 weekend pass is available at the door and online for RM35.00*, with children below 12 years old entering for FREE. OKU (disabled) Pass Holders will also enjoy free entry. Halls are open from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm on both days. New for 2024 is the option for Valet VIP Parking Ticket. For RM30.00, visitors can park their cars at Ground Level in Hall D and it is valid for one-day entry.

*Excluding RM3 processing fees

“We are blessed to have been able to host Art of Speed Malaysia for 13 years, not only for realizing a dream but also to stay true to the original ambition of an event that gathers fans and enthusiasts under one roof to celebrate everything related to art, lifestyle, culture and motoring,” said Mr. Asep Ahmad Iskandar, Festival Director, Art of Speed Malaysia (AOSM). 

“We have been crafting our events based on the right ‘pillars’ to follow, and that includes a safe, comfortable and inclusive space, content for all human senses, affordable aspirations, brotherhood, and always celebrating the good times. To sum it up, Art of Speed is for everyone; always has and always will be. Thank you for joining us again in 2024 and let the good times roll!” 

Vendor & Corporate application is now open, please contact Rafiq at +6012 2620 405 for business enquiries. For more information about this event, please visit www.artofspeedmy.com or www.facebook.com/ArtOfSpeedMY/

The Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has begun enforcing new compound rates for traffic offences beginning Monday, 1st July 2024. The offences are under the purview of the Road Transport Act 1987 and its subsidiary legislation.

DBKL announced that the compound rates for the motorcycle category are RM30 for payments made within one to 15 days, RM50 (16 to 30 days) and RM80 (31 to 60 days).

For car offences, the compound rates are RM50 for payments made within one to 15 days, RM80 (16 to 30 days) and RM100 (31 to 60 days).

Meanwhile, for heavy vehicles, the compound rates are RM200 for payments made within one to 15 days, RM250 (16 to 30 days) and RM300 (31 to 60 days).

VEHICLE TYPE Paid within
1-15 days 16-30 days 31-60 days
Motorcycle RM30 RM50 RM80
Car RM50 RM80 RM100
Heavy vehicle RM200 RM250 RM300

The recent Panigale Kingdom Mega Gathering 2024 set a new record.

It was momentous occasion when over 310 Ducati Panigale owners and their motorcycles gathered for the event. Safe to say, it beat the previous record of 150 Panigales set in 2011, earning the event a place in the Malaysia Book of Records.

The Panigale Kingdom Mega Gathering 2024 event began at the Ducati KL showroom, before the convoy  was flagged off, and subsequently headed to the Nilai Spring for the celebrations. The entire event and convoy highlighted the camaraderie and unity of the Panigale community.

Several luminaries attended the event including MotoGP, WSBK and ARRC hero Hafizh Syahrin; Siddhartha Varma, the Marketing Director Asia Pacific, Ducati Motor Thailand; and Dennis Michael, COO of Ducati Malaysia.

Dennis Michael shared, “The Panigale Kingdom Mega Gathering is more than just a world record-breaking event; it’s a celebration of the ‘Malaysia Boleh!’ spirit and the love of Ducati on our shores.  We are thrilled to support our local passionate Ducati clubs and their enthusiastic owners, especially when it comes to their love for Ducati, here in Malaysia and also around the world. I would also like to extend a word of appreciation to my colleague Siddhartha for gracing this event and witnessing first-hand the strength of our Ducati Malaysian enthusiasts.”

Siddhartha Varma, added, “The Panigale Kingdom Mega Gathering in Malaysia is a testament to the passion and dedication of our riders. It’s an incredible sight to see so many Panigale motorcycles together, reflecting the unity and enthusiasm that defines the Ducati family.”

All in all, the Panigale Kingdom Mega Gathering 2024 not only set a new world record but also underscored the unwavering commitment and passion of Ducati riders. This historic event showcased the essence of Ducati’s heritage, the spirit of innovation, and the profound sense of community that binds Panigale enthusiasts worldwide.

The license of the tour bus company involved in the fatal accident at Genting Highland on Saturday, 29 June 2024, will be suspended.

It is understood that the bus driver did not have a valid license and had 27 previous traffic offences. Of the 18 Chinese nationals onboard, 2 we killed, while 13 others were injured. 4 tour guides, and the driver survived.

A total of eight accident victims who are receiving treatment at the hospital are reported to be stable.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC), Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing revealed that there were complaints from victims who said the bus did not have air conditioning and was noisy. In addition, the tourists changed buses three times during the six days and five nights they were here. The minister said, “This proves that the buses are not well maintained.”

“That’s why I always tell all tourism companies must be ready to accept tourists from abroad,” he said when met by reporters after visiting the victims of the bus accident at Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL) here today.

Also present was the Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia Ouyang Yuging.

Following that, the company’s operating license was suspended while a full investigation and report was carried out. “I have already instructed the ministry to conduct an investigation against the travel company because it is understood that they have a subline (third party).

Commenting further, Tiong said, a special meeting involving his ministry and the Ministry of Transport will be held this Tuesday, to discuss the investigation of the case.

He said, among those that will be discussed are standard operating procedures (SOP) involving tour companies and sightseeing buses that are under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Transport through the Road Transport Department (JPJ).

He said that his party takes the issue of the safety of foreign tourists who seek the services of travel companies in this country seriously.

“I have already asked the ministry to speed up a short investigation starting tomorrow. If the investigation finds a fault, we will cancel the license of the company involved,” he said.

He also apologised to all the victims involved in the accident and hoped that the same incident would not happen again.

Here comes the 2024 Ducati Desert X Discovery: The Desert X with all the official touring accoutrements you can shake a stick at.

It uses the stock bike as the base, which is already potent enough what with the 937cc, 90° V-Twin (Ducati insists it is an ‘L-Twin’) that produces 110 hp.

And as if that’s not enough, you have adjustable KYB suspension, Brembo M50 brake calipers, 320mm brake discs up front, 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheel shod with Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tyres, and TFT display with connectivity suites. As standard.

To bring it to the Discovery spec, Ducati added:

  • Engine protectors.
  • Sump guard a.k.a. bash plate.
  • Reinforced hand protectors.
  • Radiator protector.
  • Larger touring screen.
  • Heated grips.
  • Centre stand.
  • A pair of 76-litre aluminium adventure side cases.

And suddenly the idea of riding the bike to a remote campsite is not such a worrisome prospect.

The 2024 Ducati Desert X Discovery is priced at £17,295 (RM103,185.71), which is £2,300 (RM13,722.29) more than the standard Desert X.

But… that price is actually dearer than the standard Ducati Multistrada V4 which sells for £16,995 (RM101,394.30) in the UK.

The BMW R 1300 GS Trophy Competition motorcycle has been revealed ahead of the BMW International GS Trophy 2024, this time in Namibia, Africa.

As such, BMW prepared the recently launched 2024 BMW R 1300 GS for this endeavour.

But of course, it is not several one-off specials. Instead, BMW makes it as close to the bike you can buy at your local BMW Motorrad dealer.

The new Boxer engine looks to be untouched and retains its present 145 hp and 149.2 Nm of torque. Apart from that, it is fitted with black cross-spoke wheels with anodised rims, shod with Metzeler Karoo 4 tyres. The suspension is equipped with Adaptive Height Control for safer and easier handling.

Protection for the motorcycle includes engine protection bar, frame guard, large skid plate, headlight guard, white handguard extensions.

An Akrapovič exhaust system, handlebar risers, adjustable gearshift and brake levers, GS Vario rider footrests, enduro hand levers, and a rally seat, complete the equipment list of the competition GS. An adventure tail bag is fitted for storage.

The GS Trophy returns to the continent where it began in 2008 after travelling around the world to locations such as Thailand, New Zealand, Mongolia, Albania, et al. Namibia, which is located at the southwestern coast of Africa promises amazing scenery along with the Big Five animals. However, BMW Motorrad says that this may be the most challenging edition ever.

A total of 60 riders from 22 national teams (16 men’s, 6 women’s) will compete for the coveted trophy GS Trophy 2024 Namibia from September 15th to the 20th. Based on past GS Trophy events, the most successful team will be the one that was best prepared, had the best teamwork, and rode most skilfully.

Hot on the heels of the 2024 Honda CB350RS, Boon Siew Honda has also launched the 2024 Honda Dash 125.

There are several updates to the model despite its positioning as a budget friendly moped.

Highlights:
  • Honda calls the powerplant a “refined 125cc EURO 4 compliant engine.” It should mean better fuel efficiency in order to pass the tough emission standard.
  • As per Honda’s tradition for better torque in the low to mid RPM range, it is a long stroke engine with bore x stroke dimensions of 52.4 mm x 57.9 mm.

  • The engine 124.9cc, DOHC, four-valve, air-cooled, PGM-FI fuel injected engine produces 7.35 kW (9.8 hp) at 8,000 RPM and 9.54 Nm at 6,500 RPM. See what we mean by having a long stroke produces better torque?
  • Other specifications remain the same such as a 4-speed transmission and kick starter.

  • In terms of aesthetics, there is now a visor and sleeker handle cover.
  • The headlight is now LED.

  • More importantly, the 2024 Honda Dash 125 features front and rear disc brakes, although without ABS.
  • There are three vibrant colours, namely Red, Blue, and Silver.

It will be available at all Honda IMPIAN X and authorised dealers nationwide from today, 28 June, for a recommended selling price from RM6,599 (excluding road tax, insurance,
and registration).

2024 Honda Dash 125 picture gallery

Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has cut down 175 trees it classified as risky, after inspecting 1,588 old trees around the capital.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Federal Territories) Dr. Zaliha Mustafa said the assessment was carried out by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) in addition to ongoing inspections of old trees.

“To reflect DBKL’s commitment, a total of 21 contractors have been appointed from 15 June 2024 for the regular maintenance of rendang trees and each contractor must provide an arborist, an individual who specializes in tree inspection, to assess the level of health and mitigation actions on the trees,” she said during the question and answer session in the Dewan Rakyat today.

She was responding to a question from Zahir Hassan (PH-Wangsa Maju) who wanted to know the action to ensure that trees under the supervision of DBKL and private premises comply with guidelines to avoid the threat of danger to the public.

Regarding tree maintenance works, she said, according to DBKL records, maintenance works have been carried out on 22,283 trees from January to June.

Regarding trees on private premises, Dr. Zaliha said that DBKL had issued 65 notification letters regarding trees at risk in private areas as a result of public complaints since 2021 until last May.

Responding to Zahir’s question about the data on incidents of injuries and accidents due to fallen trees in Kuala Lumpur, she said that there were 14 cases of accidents caused by the incident with nine cases resulting in injuries and five cases of death for the period from 2017 to 2024.

According to her, out of that number, three cases are still under investigation and court proceedings, six cases were rejected because accidents occurred outside DBKL’s supervisory area, while the remaining five cases have been paid by the insurance.

The 2024 Honda CB350RS has been launched in Malaysia.

Honda calls it a “road sports model” but calling it a modern retro or more specifically the UJM (universal Japanese motorcycle) would hit closer to the mark. In any case, this was the shape of all motorcycles in the old days. You take one of these, mod it up, and race it regardless on- or off-road, then ride to work the next day.

Anyway, the 2024 Honda CB350RS is a modern thoroughly modern motorcycle with likewise modern features, wrapped up in a more cohesively designed body, compared to the mishmash “neo retro” design of the Honda CB250.

Highlights:
  • Powered by a 348cc, air-cooled, four-stroke, OHC, single-cylinder engine.
  • It produces 15.5 kW (20.8 hp) at 5,500 RPM and 30 NM at 3,000 RPM.

  • The engine is fuel-injected and features Honda’s signature Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) system.
  • The cylinder is placed at an offset from the crankshaft’s vertical centreline. This reduces friction on the thrust face of the piston against the cylinder as it is pushed up from BDC to TDC.

  • The engine also has an asymmetrical connecting rod (conrod) to reduce energy losses.
  • Power is transferred to the gearbox via an Assist and Slipper Clutch. It was Honda who invented the slipper clutch, anyway.

  • Semi-double cradle steel frame which Honda says balances vertical, horizontal, and torsional rigidity.
  • Electronic features include the Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) traction control system.

  • The bike’s braking system consists of a single disc brake up front and at the back.
  • Dual-channel ABS is standard.

  • Wheel and tyre sizes are 100/90-19 front and 150/70-17 rear.
  • A classic shaped round headlamp, with LED lighting all around.

  • Digital-analogue metre panel displaying some useful data including gear position, battery voltage, and distance to dry fuel status.

The 2024 Honda CB350RS is offered in two colours, namely Mat Massive Gray Metallic and Athletic Blue Metallic, and retails from RM20,500 (not on the road).

2024 Honda CB350RS photo gallery

The government is studying the need to rationalise the RON95 petrol subsidy.

The Minister of Economy, Rafizi Ramli however said, focus and priority is given to the implementation of the diesel subsidy for now until the targeting becomes stable.

“It thus achieves the set objectives, among which is to strengthen the country’s fiscal sustainability as well as reduce the leakage in the distribution of diesel subsidies.

“If the rationalization of subsidy on RON95 petrol is implemented in the future, the government will take appropriate measures to ensure that the affected people will be given appropriate assistance,” he said in a written reply in Parliament today.

He said this in response to Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem’s (GPS-Serian) question whether implementing the reduction of petrol subsidies had a positive impact on the people.

Commenting further, Rafizi said that the targeted implementation of diesel subsidies from June 10 is also expected to save RM4 billion a year.

In the meantime, he said, the implementation of the subsidy targeting initiative also helped the government to strengthen its financial policy position and utilize available resources.

“Savings from the subsidy retargeting initiative will be returned to the people through the implementation of programs and projects that are more beneficial and really needed by the people, such as improvements in the provision of social services and public facilities including health, education, transport and security,” he said.

Diesel sales at the border declined by 30 percent thus confirming the existence of diesel smuggling activities before the government announced the floating of diesel subsidy prices.

Finance Minister II, Datuk Seri Amir Hamzah Azizan said that the subsidy targeting measures that started on June 10 saw the total retail sales of diesel at petrol stations drop by almost eight million liters per day or 30 percent for the first week after the implementation of the diesel price reset, compared to the week before implementation.

“Furthermore, commercial diesel sales increased by four million liters per day, which indicates that some of the subsidized retail diesel consumption over the years has already been used by the industrial sector which should have bought diesel at the market price.

Commenting further, he said, the floating of diesel prices does not mean that the government will completely abolish the subsidy on the fuel since at the moment, the government is still subsidizing diesel up to RM10 billion, down from RM14 billion last year, thus witnessing a saving of RM4 billion a year.

“The government is able to achieve annual savings of RM4 billion. These savings can certainly be used to improve the quality of life of the people through the provision of quality public infrastructure as well as more comprehensive social protection,” he said.

He said, the country’s diesel subsidy expenditure increased 10-fold, from RM1.4 billion in 2019, to RM14.3 billion last year.

“The trend of increasing diesel subsidies can no longer be accommodated by the government continuously. The increase in subsidy spending is not only due to the increase in market prices, but also due to the increase in leakage of subsidized diesel.

“The amount of subsidized diesel used rose sharply by 80 percent from 6.1 billion liters in 2019 to 10.8 billion liters last year, although there was no significant increase in new diesel vehicles in the same period.

“At the same time, the total sales of non-subsidized commercial diesel fell by two billion liters during that period. The increase in the use of subsidized diesel is very significant due to the large price gap between the commercial price and the retail price of subsidized diesel at the Malaysian pump,” he said.

He said, Malaysia’s diesel retail price is much cheaper than neighboring countries, including Thailand around RM4.20, Indonesia around RM4.40 and Singapore almost reaching RM9 per liter allowing a number of local commercial sector businesses that should buy diesel at the market price to take advantage of enjoying and deviating subsidized diesel.

“For example, they buy subsidized diesel from gas stations and misuse it for gene sets in factories, construction sites or oil palm plantations.

“The more important issue is that due to our cheap diesel prices, it makes diesel smuggling activities to neighboring countries difficult to curb. This is what the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Cost of Living (KPDN) discovered during Op Tiris,” he said.

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