Mumbai-born Malaysian denied fuel subsidy payout

June 24th, 2008 - 3:27 pm ICT by IANS  


Kuala Lumpur, June 24 (IANS) A Malaysian national has been twice denied the fuel subsidy payout given by the government for vehicle owners just because he was born in India. Ong Kok Leong, 66, was refused the RM625 ($190) rebate for the two vehicles registered in his name when he tried to claim the payout at a post office in Ipoh last week.

The father of former national swimmers Alan and Cindy, Ong was told that he was not entitled to the rebates since he was born abroad.

“I tried explaining to the clerk that I was born in Bombay (now Mumbai) since my parents fled Malaysia to seek refuge in India during World War II, but to no avail,” Ong, an ethnic Chinese, said Monday.

“I went again the following day and was told by another clerk that they would have to get the green light from the road transport department first,” he added.

An irate Ong claimed he was refused the rebates since the digits indicating where he was born on his MyKad were 71.

“This is totally ridiculous. I have lived in the country since 1945 and I am a Malaysian citizen as proven by my MyKad, the identity card every Malaysian national carries.

“It is not as if I am a foreigner or a permanent resident,” he said, adding there might be others encountering the same problem.

The rebates are given to the owners of private vehicles with an engine capacity of up to 2,000cc, and pick-up trucks and jeeps up to 2,500cc following the partial removal of fuel subsidies June 4.

A person is allowed to claim rebates for five vehicles.

State road transport department director Mohammed Yasir Mastakim, when contacted by the New Straits Times, said he would send his officers to the post office and clear the matter.

“It must have been some form of misunderstanding. They should have just paid him the rebates when he produced his MyKad,” he said.

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