KUALA LUMPUR - Effective today, the price of RON97 petrol has increased by 15 sen to RM2.85 (S$1.11) per litre.
Malaysian Petrol Dealers Association president Datuk Hashim Othman said the retail price of RON97 is fixed based on a managed float with the monthly price determined by market forces.
He said the price hike could have been influenced by world events, such as the looming threat of war by the United States against Syria.
"The decision made by the US to interfere in the ongoing conflict in Syria could have contributed to the hike. This is because all international financial transactions are made in US dollars."
Hashim, however, believed the price increase would not affect the low and middle-income earners because the fuel is used by luxury car owners.
The last time RON97 petrol saw a major price increase was in September last year when it retailed at RM3 per litre.
However, the price was subsequently reduced to RM2.90 in March and cut again by 20 sen after the 13th General Election to RM2.70.
The RON97 price hike comes two days after the government had on Tuesday announced that the prices of RON95 petrol and diesel have been increased by 20 sen.
The measure was part of the government's subsidy rationalisation initiative to ensure a more efficient and just distribution of benefits derived from its subsidy efforts.
Prior to Tuesday's price increase, the government was subsidising 83 sen for every litre of RON95 petrol and RM1 per litre of diesel, bringing the total fuel subsidy allocation for this year to RM24.8 billion.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had said the 20 sen reduction in fuel subsidy would bring about savings which would translate to a higher BR1M allocation in the 2014 Budget.
Meanwhile, in Alor Star, the Northern Region Commercial Transport Operators' Association has increased its lorry charges rate by five per cent beginning yesterday in response to the recent fuel price hike.
Its president Datuk Yusoff Ismail, however, stressed that the new rate would not have significant adverse impact on consumer goods as the increment was still much lower compared with their travel cost.
Yusoff said the association's 1,000 members had agreed to cap the fare increase by five per cent to reflect the additional cost they have to shoulder following the recent 20 sen hike per litre for petrol and diesel.