Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui is a man of no action. How can he ignore the issue affecting the national economy and well-being of the rakyat as a minister?
The Government should advice CHAM and AMH to stop imposing the new tariff for haulage to prevent another round of inflation Media statement by Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew, DAP CEC member and GO bureau chief (to be released to all media on Saturday, 30 Dec 2007.
The decision to proceed with a “flat rate” by Malaysian hauliers has met with a strong protest among the Malaysian exporters and importers. We are of the view that the Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry and other relevant ministries ( MITI, Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development , Finance, Transport) should intervene in the matter immediately to prevent Malaysian consumers for paying higher cost as a result of the new tariffs for the haulage of containers. We also believe that the new tariffs; if implemented will certainly make Malaysian goods less competitive in the world market.
We condemn Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui for not responding to the letter jointly written by FMM, Malaysian National Shippers Council, SMI Association Malaysia, Malaysian Plastics manufacturer Association, Malaysian SMR Rubber processors Association, Federation of rubber Trade associations of Malaysia and Malaysian Concentrate Latex Processors Association. These bodies have described the “flat rate” plan as “unjust”.
If the Government can control the fares of taxi and school buses, why can’t they control the charges for haulage?
These associations have voiced their protest, saying it is a form of price fixing or cartel.
Several businessmen have complained to the DAP that such move would inevitably push up the cost of haulage for the 20 footer containers by 100%. It is unlikely that the cost would be absorbed by the exporters, processors and importers. The burden of cost increase will certainly be transferred to the Malaysian consumers in general.
If the Government allows the two associations to increase haulage charges, the cost of transporting a 20 footer container from the North Port to Kota Bharu would be increased from RM 1,651 to RM 3,302. And this cost of haulge has not included the road toll charges and fuel surchage ofRM185.60 and RM411.76 respectively.
I was told that a 20 footer could only fit in 720 packs of milk powder. Just imagine the cost of transporting per pack after imposing the new rates.The new additional cost would of course be transfered to the parents.
The higher cost would also affect the competitiveness of our exporters and processors.
According to a reliable source, the 20 footer containers are more popular; they accounted for about 58% of the market, while the 40 footer containers take up the remaining 41%. The 45 footer containers is only about 0.2 %.
In a letter dated 25 Nov 2006 jointly issued by the Container Hauliers Association of Malaysia (CHAM) and Association of Malaysian Hauliers (AMH), it was stated that w.e.f. 1 Jan 2007, all haulage charges shall be computed based on the current 40 footer rate regardless of container size whether 20 footer, 40 footer or 45 footer.
The two associations cited cost increase as the reason for imposing the single box rate tariff. They argued that the current 20 footer tariff is outdated and no longer reflects or enables the recovery of the true costs of operation today. But we like to point out that the hauliers were allowed to impose fuel surcharges from May 2006, and even the toll fees will be added on to the cost of transport. The hauliers have no reason to increase their cost by 100%.
We urge the Ministry of Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development to suspend the new rates until a negotiation was done between the hauliers and the users. The ministry under Datuk Mohd Khaled Nordin is responsible for the issuance of licenses to logistics and transport companies.
We urge CHAM and AMH to hold a meeting with FMM and other associations to reach a compromise and work out the new tariffs in the interest of everybody. Some of the businessmen told us that an increase of 10 to 20% for the 20 footer would be more reasonable.
DAP will present a memorandum to Chin and Khaled and also both AHM and CHAM on the matters next week.