PETALING JAYA, Malaysia - Transport industry players and manufacturers are concerned over the 20 sen price hike for RON95 petrol and diesel.
Federal Territory and Selangor Taxi Operators' Association president Datuk Aslah Abdullah said although cab drivers in urban areas such as Klang Valley and Kuala Lumpur might not feel the pinch, drivers of hired cars in the rural areas would be hit hard.
"Most of the taxis in the urban areas are using gas so they will not be affected by the increase of RON95.
"But those in the rural areas like in Kedah or Langkawi, who do not have access to gas will be hugely affected," he said.
He suggested that the authorities revise the fare rates for taxis from 20 sen per 100m to RM1 per 115m.
"It is time for the Government to review the rates and increase the charges to ease the burden of drivers," he said.
Malaysian Taxi, Limousine and Rental Car Operators and Drivers' Association vice-president Mohd Shahril Abdul Aziz concurred, saying that the rise was "too high" and cost would be passed on to the public.
"It will be a major problem for many of us who cannot cope with the current rate," he said.
Pan Malaysian Bus Operators Association president Datuk Mohamad Ashfar Ali said the rise in diesel price would have serious impact on the industry.
"It will definitely have a multiplier effect. I suggest that the Government consider doubling up the subsidised diesel quota that we are currently getting," he said.
The Government now allocates a total of 1, 400 litres of subsidised diesel per month for bus operators while express bus operators get 2,800 litres.
Ashfar urged the Government to extend the additional 10% surcharge on bus fares for the Hari Raya period, between July 8 and Sept 8, until the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) makes a final decision on the review of bus charges.
"In May, we proposed a rise of 30% but SPAD responded that it was too high at that time and that it was still studying the matter.
"With the announcement of the increased rates for petrol and diesel, it should extend the 10% surcharge," he added.
Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) president Tan Sri Yong Poh Kon said the increases would certainly add to the cost of logistics and other costs.
"As for other energy components like gas and electricity, we hope that any future increases due to reductions in subsidies would be done in a gradual, phased manner," he said.