Karak-highway

With the recent toll hike slated to be in effect starting October 15, the transport industry has already begun to voice out against the sudden increase, The Star reports. Having to face a falling ringgit, no alternative roads to go by and a weak public transport system were some of the items put forward.

President of Pan Malaysian Lorry Operators Association Jong Foh Jit questioned why the hike had to happen at this moment in time. “Everything is going up. Spare parts, tyres. Projects for lorries are down, the market is slowing down. This is another burden,” he said.

In return for the toll hike, Jong requested that the government bring down the costs of tyre duties and road taxes for lorry operators. Goh Bok Yen, a transport expert said that for motorists without alternative routes to choose from, the burden is inevitable – those who live near toll gates are even worse off, he said.

Lorry driveshaft 02

Goh further explained that the public would still be required to use the highway as the local public transport system is not a worthy option. He added that the pinch would not be felt as much by those who use the highways for long trips, as compared to those who travel shorter distances. “And even if you pay, you are still facing congestion,” the transport expert stated.

President of the Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association (FOMCA), Datuk N. Marimuthu also questioned the need for a toll rise now, urging that the government needs to justify the reason behind this.

Marimuthu warned that the increase in toll rates could bring about a chain reaction against the prices of goods. “The ringgit is falling, traders are pushing up their prices, and the haze means local producers can’t produce,” he said. With that, the president explained that a commission is urgently needed.