This morning I had a press conference on the rising cost of living despite the fall in petrol prices. Below is my full press statement.

You can also read the media’s coverage of this issue here and here and here.

PRESS RELEASE: GOVERNMENT PUSHES COURIER PRICES UP DESPITE FALL IN PETROL PRICES.

Last Tuesday, 13th January 2015, PKR expressed concerns that prices of goods and services have not come down despite the fall in petrol costs. PKR also rejected the Minister’s claims that the inflated price of goods and services are caused by profiteering businessmen beyond their control. We noted that the BN government has created an environment whereby these profiteering practices thrive by failing to address structural and governance issues such as competition and monopoly. In fact, the BN government, via its GLCs, GLICS and its connected cronies, have a major controlling influence over the pricing of most basic goods and services.

Instead of bringing prices down, today, we expose how a government agency has helped to increase profits for a company, Pos Malaysia which is controlled by Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar since 2011. On 15th December, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) issued a notice that the minimum price for Courier service will increase to RM5.00 for letter below 500 grams. Whilst this notice seems innocent enough, we have learnt that Poslaju, a subsidary of Pos Malaysia used this to then increase all its courier charges by an average of 51%.

The fall in global oil prices has led to a decline in local petrol prices. Common sense dictates that prices of services such as transportation and shipment including courier service industry should come down. So why then has the courier charges for Pos Malaysia increased dramatically? We also note with concern that Pos Malaysia still maintain a 15% fuel surcharge in its prices.

Pos Malaysia is not a loss making concern. In 2013, they made a whopping RM 151 million in profit after tax with revenue of RM322 million from its courier service alone. This price hike could effectively push its courier service revenue to an all-time high of RM500 million. Coupled with further savings from cheap petrol, Pos Malaysia would record extreme profits in 2015, all thanks to MCMC’s generous but illogical support for a price hike. Ultimately, the rakyat and consumers suffer while the crony billionaire laugh all the way to the bank.

MCMC is under the supervision of the Minister of Communications and Multimedia, Dato’ Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek. We call upon the Minister to do his job and bring the prices of courier down in light of falling petrol prices. It is important that the government send the right message that it will seriously fight rising costs of living, in particular since the GST is just a few months away.

Wong Chen
PKR Chief of Investment and Trade Bureau / MP Kelana Jaya
16 January 2015