Here is a short video.

They are basically saying that whether Premium or Regular petrol it does not make any difference on the performance or fuel efficiency of the engine in your car.  In fact in the test run above the Premium petrol actually produces more exhaust emissions than Regular petrol.

I think Premium petrol is equivalent to our RON 97 while Regular should be our RON 95. (Fuel experts do correct me if this is incorrect).

I have always suspected that this Premium and Regular gas was a con job.


I have owned and driven a Mercedes CLS 350, Mercedes 200 CLK and an Audi Quattro. The CLS and Quattro have good performance (engines in excess of 255 hp).  For all these cars our regular RON 95 gas worked just fine. There was no need to burn RON 97 (premium fuel). And my mechanic says the same thing, it does not matter what fuel you use – the performance and the fuel consumption are the same.

Maybe it is just a marketing trick.

Anyway here is a suggestion (actually suggested by a professor at some local university but I have lost the link) on how to lower petrol prices in Malaysia.

The suggestion is simple : boycott Petronas petrol stations for 12 months.

Now, before I go any further I Googled ‘boycott Petronas’. And look what I found :


It looks like these “boycott Petronas” campaigns have been going on for some time, since before 2008. So janganlah marah saya seorang.

But coming back to the latest “boycott Petronas” campaign, the Professor guy had the following reasoning.

He said the actual cost of petrol is less than RM1 per litre. The oil companies were actually making a killing.   This may or may not be true.

But his onward reasoning has some killer potential that can be exploited – because the petrol station business in Malaysia is an oligopoly and the prices are controlled.  In truth it is a monopoly aka Petronas.

The professor’s point was that Petronas, being the largest oil company in Malaysia actually determined (or influences) the selling prices of petrol and diesel in Malaysia.  (The remaining four or five oil companies just follow the controlled prices.)

Meaning setting the prices of petrol and diesel is monopolistic.

The prices of fuel in Malaysia (like the prices of so many other things like cars, chocolates, milk etc) are artificial.  They do not reflect real costs and real prices (INSIDE MALAYSIA).  I have to repeat ‘inside Malaysia’.

Herein lies an opportunity for the consumer.

If the consumers were to boycott Petronas for 12 months  then Petronas will be forced to cut its selling prices for petrol and diesel. Or beg the gomen to lower the selling prices for petrol and diesel.  Then the remaining oil companies will just follow suit.

(My own view is that a ONE MONTH boycott will be enough – MAXIMUM THREE MONTHS. No need for a 12 months boycott.)

My only issue is I rarely if ever pump gas at a Petronas station.  I only stop at Petronas if there is an emergency.

This type of boycott can certainly work in an oligopolistic market.
It will NOT WORK in a free market system with a level playing field.
You target  the market leader among  the oligopoly.
If the market leader cuts prices, the rest of the oligopoly will follow suit.