Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Bus fares to go up before Raya

PUTRAJAYA, July 29 — The government has agreed to raise fares for express and stage buses, but not up to 100 per cent as proposed by the Pan Malaysia Bus Operators' Association (PMBOA).

Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development Minister Datuk Noh Omar said the ministry had appointed a consultant to look into a suitable level of increase and the new bus fares would be announced before Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

"The study has been completed and we are now discussing the fare increase with the association," he told reporters after the presentation of the ministry's Excellent Service Award 2007 to recipients today.

Noh said the fare increase was unavoidable following the bus companies' higher operational costs, including the diesel price hike from 71 sen per litre to RM1.43 per litre since the last bus fare increase in 2005.

He said the higher operational costs were also due to the increase in the prices of tyres, engine oil, batteries and spare parts.

Yesterday, the PMBOA led by its president Datuk Mohamad Ashfar Ali submitted a memorandum to the National Consultative Council on Inflation, chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, seeking a raise in bus fares by 100 per cent as demanded by the association in May.

Mohamad Ashfar said bus operators were all under pressure following the oil price hike and urged the government to act fast to enable them to operate as usual for the coming festive season.

On another development, Noh said the liberalisation system to separate economy-class buses from luxury buses would be implemented in two weeks whereby the government would control ticket prices for economy buses while the fares for luxury buses would be left to market forces.

"But we will ensure that bus companies allocate enough economy buses at all times so that commuters will not be inconvenienced by the shortage of such buses."

Noh also said his ministry would study the possibility of allowing school buses to be used for public transport in rural areas due to the poor bus service in these areas.

The problem was raised at the Meeting of Chief Ministers and Menteris Besar held here yesterday.

Noh said Mara had to spend RM3 million a year to provide rural bus services because other bus operators refused to do so as they felt such services were not profitable.

"There are about 20,000 school buses in the country, and the government is studying the relevant laws and regulations so that the function of the school buses can be expanded to include providing public transportation, while their use is limited during school holidays."

Noh said applications were still open to operators interested to provide mini bus services in rural areas where they could also use vans for such services.

"They need to apply to the ministry for a permit first to operate the service so that we can monitor it, especially in terms of safety," he added. — Bernama

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Cabbies still want higher fares despite fuel subsidy

KUALA LUMPUR: Taxi operators still want to raise their fares despite being allowed to buy petrol at a subsidised price.

The entitlement for taxis nationwide to buy unleaded petrol at RM1.92 per litre would not be of much benefit, they said.

From July 27 onwards, all taxis can purchase petrol at the subsidised price up to 720 litres a month after applying for a fleet card from the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry office in Putrajaya.
Federal Territory and Selangor Taxi Operations president Datuk Aslah Abdullah said it did not make any difference and it will not help ease the burden of taxi drivers as the subsidised price of RM1.92 per litre was the old price that they had been getting before the fuel price increase.

“We have been applying to the government to increase the initial fare charges from RM2 to RM3 since last year not because of the fuel price, but due to the rising cost of living.

“The RM1 increase could add to the revenue of a taxi driver who takes 10 passengers a day up by RM10,” he said, adding that this was the only way to help the taxi drivers earn more income.
He said that they would still insist on the raise in the initial fare charges despite the petrol subsidy for taxis.
Koperasi Perisai Perkasa Kuala Lumpur Berhad chairman Rosli Abdullah also agreed with Aslah about the RM3 proposed initial fare charge.

“Though the move by the government is beneficial, it would not make any difference to the majority of city taxi drivers. The subsidy would only help taxi drivers outside the city centre.

“This is because most taxi drivers in the city use NGV unlike outside the city where more taxis run on petrol. Therefore, the only way to help them is by increasing the fare charge,” he said.

Rosli also urged the government to extend the subsidy to diesel-run taxis as there were still taxis using diesel.
Former taxi company operator Asirvatham Jebamoney suggested that instead of subsidising the fuel, the government should come up with other forms of assistance to ease the burden of taxi drivers.
He recommended that the government give a subsidy on vehicles purchased for commercial purposes instead.

The Star - 20 July 2008

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Road blocks may go on

KUALA LUMPUR, July 14 – On the day that thousands of workers got to their offices late because road blocks all over the city had reduced traffic to a total standstill, the police are saying that road blocks just may go on as they are a necessity and "successfully prevented any illegal activities from taking place".

At a press conference in the KL Police Contingent headquarters in Jalan Hang Tuah today, Kuala Lumpur Police Chief Datuk Wira Muhammad Sabtu Osman reiterated that police road blocks have proven to be an effective method in helping to curtail anti government activities which could threaten national security.Asked if there were any illegal gatherings in the city today following the blockade, he replied in the negative, "except Central Market but that was in small numbers".

Muhammad Sabtu dismissed claims from the Opposition political parties that employing such tactics amounted to police intimidation. "Oh, this is normal stuff. It's up to them to make their own conclusions. They can say anything they like."

A whopping 1,600 personnel were deployed for traffic duty today. Many angry motorists said they would have been better off fighting crime instead of causing traffic jams. "We mount road blocks based on information. Each time we get information (of an illegal gathering), we will confirm first."

Though he admitted that the road blocks delayed and inconvenienced the public, he reiterated security took priority over everything else. "So far, it hasn't effected on the economy. Don't touch on economy. Our main business is security. We cannot forgo security," he said emphatically.

He did say there was a big possibility the road blocks would be lifted tonight, but refused to confirm, adding cryptically, "We'll see."

Raya travel plans at risk

(TheStar) - Express bus operators may not sell tickets in advance for the Hari Raya break in October, as they are still not receiving the full amount of subsidised diesel that they need daily.
Pan Malaysian Bus Operators Association president Datuk Ashfar Ali said the promise made by the Government in June was not being implemented.

"When they asked for the full quota of subsidised diesel, they get responses such as the ministry (Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry) had not received instructions from the Finance Ministry."

Ashfar said the latest excuse was that it would take three months before the full quota could be given through the fleet card system.

The fleet card system entitles bus operators to buy diesel at RM1.43 a litre. The current diesel price is RM2.58. Bus operators now receive about 70% of their daily quota at a subsidised price.
Ashfar said more problems would arise if the bus operators went ahead and sold tickets in advance without knowing when they would start receiving the full quota of subsidised diesel.
"If we are forced to stop operating because we cannot absorb the costs in the next three months, then both the passengers and the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board can take action against us for selling tickets but not operating," Ashfar said.

Ashfar added that the association did not want the situation to reach that stage, and urged the ministry to help the industry.

In Johor Baru, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shahrir Samad said he would have to refer to ministry officials over the issue.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Massive jams, Syed Hamid says sorry

KUALA LUMPUR: Police roadblocks leading into the city caused massive jams throughout Monday morning, with Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar issuing an apology to the Malaysian public but reiterating that the police operations were undertaken in the interest of public security.

Most major roads leading to the city have been experiencing traffic congestion since Saturday, when police launched Ops Padam and mounted roadblocks at 12 entry points into the city.

Police roadblocks at entry-points into the city since Saturday caused massive jams in Kuala Lumpur on Monday morning. Police said they were preparing for illegal protests although Opposition parties denied they were planning any. - Starpic by Chan Tak Kong

Saying it was for security and safety, Syed Hamid said the roadblocks were carried out in the interest of the public and that the decision was made based on the many statements that were made calling people to demonstrate at Parliament.

He added that the police action had nothing to do with Parti Keadilan Rakyat adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“The public want their safety, not demonstrations or interference with their daily life.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Syed Albar at Parliament House on Monday. - Starpic

“We have got a lot of evidence to show that whatever they do - they (demonstrations) do interfere with public interest,” he said at the Parliament lobby on Monday.

Police said they were staving off an illegal gathering that Pakatan Rakyat was planning at Parliament or its grounds on Monday morning, in anticipation of a motion of no-confidence being filed against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his Cabinet.

The police obtained a court order barring Parti Keadilan Rakyat de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, his supporters and the public from holding any rally or participating in it within a 5km radius of the Parliament building.

Pakatan Rakyat leaders have denied they were planning any such gathering.

Syed Hamid said after the police obtained their court order, Pakatan Rakyat had issued instructions to cool off on the purported rally.

“The police took the court order to ensure they can enforce law and order so that everyone who comes here (to Parliament) can feel protected and that their safety is not jeopardised.”

Syed Hamid said the police were only exercising their rights in taking preventive measures.

The roadblocks are expected to continue until midnight on Monday or until further notice.

In Dewan Rakyat, Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia rejected a motion by Salahuddin Ayub (PAS-Kubang Kerian) to seek an explanation on the heightened security measures imposed on roads in the city and the closure of routes to Parliament House.

Salahuddin said that the police roadblocks which began on Saturday had caused discomfort to the public.

“Parliament has become like a war-zone,” he said, adding that Pakatan Rakyat had not given any directive to its members to gather in Parliament on Monday.

Pandikar Amin said that the House could only discuss issues under the Standing Orders that were related to the House proceedings.

“The House cannot discuss anything that occurs outside this House.

“Security concerns which occur outside the House are not under my purview,” he added.

Source : The Star

Monday July 14, 2008 MYT 3:21:32 PM

Friday, July 4, 2008

How to reduce petrol and gas price.. Egg Logic

A man eats two eggs each morning for breakfast. When he goes to the grocery store he pays 60 cents a dozen.Since a dozen eggs won't last a weekhe normally buys two dozens at a time. One day while buying eggs he notices that the price has risen to 72 cents. The next time he buys groceries, eggs are 76cents a dozen.

When asked to explain the price of eggs the store owner says, "The price has gone up and I have to raise my price accordingly". This store buys 100 dozen eggs a day. He checked around for a better price and all the distributors have raised their prices. The distributors have begun to buy from the huge egg farms. The small egg farms have been driven out of business. The huge egg farms sell 100,000 dozen eggs a day to distributors. With no competition, they can set the price as they see fit.The distributors then have to raise their prices to the grocery stores. And on and on and on.

As the man kept buying eggs the price kept going up. He saw the big egg trucks delivering 100 dozen eggs each day. Nothing changed there. He checked out the huge egg farms and found they were selling 100,000 dozen eggs to the distributors daily. Nothing had changed but the price of eggs.
Then week before Thanks giving the price of eggs shot up to $1.00 a dozen. Again he asked the grocery owner why and was told, "Cakes and baking for the holiday". The huge egg farmers know there will be a lot of baking going on and more eggs will be used. Hence, the price of eggs goes up. Expect the same thing at Christmas and other times when family cooking, baking, etc. happen.

This pattern continues until the price of eggs is 2.00 a dozen. The man says, " There must be something we can do about the price of eggs".
He starts talking to all the people in his town and they decide to stop buying eggs. This didn't work because everyone needed eggs.
Finally, the man suggested only buying what you need. He ate 2 eggsa day. On the way home from work he would stop at the grocery and buy two eggs. Everyone in town started buying 2 or 3 eggs a day.
The grocery store owner began complaining that he had too many eggsin his cooler. He told the distributor that he didn't need any eggs. Maybewouldn't need any all week.

The distributor had eggs piling up at his warehouse. He told the huge egg farms that he didn't have any room for eggs would not need any for at least two weeks.

At the egg farm, the chickens just kept on laying eggs. To relieve the pressure, the huge egg farm told the distributor that they could buy the eggs at a lower price. The distributor said, " I don't have the room for the eggs even if they were free".
The distributor told the grocery store owner that he would lower the price of the eggs if the store would start buying again. The grocery store owner said, "I don't have room for more eggs. The customers are only buying 2 or 3 eggs at a time. Now if you were to drop the price of eggs back down to the original price, the customers would start buying by the dozen again".

The distributors sent that proposal to the huge egg farmers but the egg farmers liked the price they were getting for their eggs but, those chickens just kept on laying.

Finally, the egg farmers lowered the price of their eggs. But only a few cents.

The customers still bought 2 or 3 eggs at a time. They said, "when the price of eggs gets down to where it was before, we will start buying by the dozen." Slowly the price of eggs started dropping.

The distributors had to slash their prices to make room for the eggs coming from the egg farmers. The egg farmers cut their prices because the distributors wouldn't buy at a higher price than they were selling eggs for. Anyway, they had full warehouses and wouldn't need eggs for quite a while. And those chickens kept on laying.

Eventually, the egg farmers cut their prices because they were throwing away eggs they couldn't sell. The distributors started buying again because the eggs were priced to where the stores could afford to sell them at the lower price. And the customers starting buying by the dozen again.
Now, transpose this analogy to the gasoline industry.What if everyone only bought $10.00 worth of gas each time they pulled to the pump?

The dealer's tanks would stay semi full all the time. The dealers wouldn't have room for the gas coming from the huge tank farms. The tank farms wouldn't have room for the gas coming from the refining plants. And the refining plants wouldn't have room for the oil being off loaded from the huge tankers coming from the oil fields.
Just $10.00 each time you buy gas. Don't fill it up. You may have to stop for gas twice a week but, the price should come down.

Just think of this concept for a while. ..................please pass this concept around

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Join us in Facebook

One of the problems with carpool matching has always been the anxiety most people feel when faced with the prospect of sharing a car with someone they don’t know. We are trying to tap into the power of social networking to eliminate much of the fear that can come up when people try to find rides anonymously.

In this Pilot Project (funded by Mdec), we hope by combining the ride-matching function with the reassurance of perusable user profiles (via Facebook Networking) , we can promote carpooling more effectively and successfully.

After all we are only suggesting that you try carpooling once a week, or at least recommend to friends or relatives that might need to carpool.

Join us in building the Carpooling Community in Facebook now , see you there.

Need transport to Balik Kampung? Find a ride here