Malaysia lifts ban on fuel sales to foreigners

KUALA LUMPUR Thu Jun 5, 2008 4:52am BST

Motorists line up to buy petrol before the price increase at midnight, in Putrajaya June 4, 2008. REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad

Motorists line up to buy petrol before the price increase at midnight, in Putrajaya June 4, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Bazuki Muhammad

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia has lifted a temporary ban on fuel sales to foreigners at its borders after the government announced a 41-percent hike in petrol prices, the Domestic Trade Ministry confirmed on Thursday.

The ban was no longer necessary following Wednesday's fuel subsidy reform which will eventually lift Malaysian pump prices to market rates, a ministry spokesman said.

Malaysia had earlier said filling stations in towns bordering Singapore and Thailand would be temporarily barred from selling fuel to foreign-registered vehicles in a move aimed at curbing the abuse of subsidies.

Hundreds of Thai and Singapore motorists cross into Malaysia daily to seek cheaper diesel and petrol.

The prime minister said on Wednesday petrol prices would rise 41 percent to 2.70 ringgit ($0.833) a liter and diesel 63 percent to 2.58 ringgit from Thursday.

($1=3.242 Malaysian Ringgit)

(Reporting by Soo Ai Peng; Editing by Bill Tarrant)

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