Govt has no power to remove 50sen commission charge on Astro bill payments at post offices, says Annuar

KUALA LUMPUR: The Communications and Multimedia Ministry has no power to remove the 50sen commission charge imposed for Pay-TV operator Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd bill payments at post offices, says Tan Sri Annuar Musa.

"As said, the commission is a commercial arrangement where there are no regulations to force them to do so.

"Apart from this, the ministry has no jurisdiction over the matter.

"However, it is a good proposal and I will forward the matter to Pos Malaysia," he said when replying to a question raised by Kasthuriraani Patto (PH-Batu Kawan) in Dewan Rakyat on Thursday (Oct 28).

He said that the commission was a commercial arrangement that Astro had made with other agents with regard to bill payments.

"The 50sen commission was imposed by Astro agents beginning Jan 1 this year.

"Nevertheless, Pos Malaysia only started imposing the charge at its post offices Sept 1 this year," he said.

Kasthuriraani asked if the ministry would intervene to abolish the 50sen commission imposed by Pos Malaysia.

"Not all places have Internet for online payments.

"Even my mother has to pay her Astro bill at the post office," she said.

Annuar noted that there were alternative methods of payments where Astro customers could choose from, to avoid paying the commission.

Among them, he cited, were using the auto-debit services at Astro online portal, payments at Astro payment service counters and JomPay.

"So customers have alternative option payments to avoid paying the commission charges," he said.

Earlier, Annuar informed the House that Pos Malaysia became a subsidiary of DRB-Hicom in 1992 and was listed on Bursa Malaysia in 2001.

He added that Pos Malaysia was not only involved in mail delivery but is now a logistic and integrated e-commerce platform.

Apart from Astro, he said noted that Pos Malaysia also served as an agent for payment collection involving over 200 companies, agencies and departments.

At present, he said that Pos Malaysia had more than 1,500 touch-point payment counters nationwide.

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