PETALING JAYA: Market forces will ultimately decide the price of goods and raw material even with a toll rate hike, the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) said.
SPAD operations group head A. Halim Husain said the commission would not regulate prices affected by higher transport costs.
“We have no control over them. It’s an open market,” he said.
Halim said the logistics industry was not solely dependent on transport and was affected by other areas, such as shipping, Customs and so on.
He said customers had the final say over choosing their respective dealers and hoped that operators would not transfer their problems to the Government.
A recent survey by the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) showed that a combined 79%, consisting of three groups of respondents, felt that a toll rate hike would see transport costs go up by 2% to 30%.
About 68% of FMM’s members are small-medium enterprises in the Klang Valley.
Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi said the Government had not given highway concessionaires permission to increase toll rates.
“I believe there’s no issue here. It’s all rumours at the moment. The Government has not decided to raise toll rates,” he told The Star.
Association of Hauliers Malaysia president Datuk Che Azizuddin Che Ismail said transport costs need not directly affect customers.
FMM said it expected transportation costs incurred by its members to increase by up to 30% if the proposed hike in toll rates came into effect.
It added that it was inevitable that consumers would see more price hikes due to the proposed toll rate hikes.
“The hike in toll rates will result in an increase in the prices of goods and raw material and, subsequently, increase the operating cost of manufacturers.
“This increase in operating costs would eventually be passed down to consumers,” it said in a statement on Thursday.
The survey respondents expected toll on the Damansara-Puchong Highway to be raised from RM1.60 to RM2.10, the New Pantai Expressway from RM1.60 to RM2, the KL-Putrajaya Highway from RM2.50 to RM3.50 and the Sprint Highway from RM1.50 to RM2.50, among others.
FMM added that over 71% of the respondents said they used the LDP while 40% indicated that they used all the listed highways.