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Sunday, October 25, 2015
Urban Malaysian spend more for transport than Tokyo & Hong Kong
Even before those living in the Klang Valley saw an increase in fuel, toll and vehicle prices since the beginning of this year, they had already been spending more for transport than most countries in East Asia.
According to the World Bank’s Malaysia Economic Monitor June 2015 report, those living in Kuala Lumpur and other Malaysian cities spend almost 10 percent of their total expenditure on transportation.
The report pointed out that this is 59 percent higher than Hong Kong and Tokyo.
It is also higher than Seoul and Shanghai where their populace spend about eight percent of their total expenditure on transportation.
The data was derived from Oxford Economics in 2012, before the abolition of the fuel subsidy, the hike in toll prices and the increase in vehicle prices due to the weakening ringgit.
In mid-2012, RON95 fuel was RM1.90 compared with RM2.05 this month.
Last Thursday, toll operators also announced an increase in toll rates by up to 100 percent at 18 expressways.
Several top car brands including Toyota and Honda have also announced an increase in car prices due to the weakening ringgit, which has lost 30 percent of its value since the beginning of this year.
Private transportation factor
These factors are likely to further push up Malaysians’ expenditure on transport, which is already on the high end in the region.
The report attributed the high cost of transport to the “extensive reliance” on private transport.
This reliance has also contributed to severe congestion in Kuala Lumpur.
“According to the Works Ministry’s Highway Planning Unit, 38 percent of federal roads in peninsular Malaysia - many of which provide radial access into city centres - are classified as Level of Service ‘E’ or ‘F’, meaning that they are severely or extremely congested,” it said.
It estimated that traffic congestion cost between RM12.7 billion and RM24.7 billion, or 1.1 percent to 2.2 percent of Malaysia’s gross domestic product annually.
“Malaysia today is among the countries in the world with the highest incidence of private vehicle ownership.
“While the total population grew by about 10 percent to 28.3 million between 2005 and 2010, the number of registered private cars increased by over 40 percent over the same period,” it said