Thursday, December 03, 2015

Smart people rode the train ... before Dec 2: Is SPAD's fare increase justified?

"Smart people ride the train." - Anonymous

For a million or so Komuter, Monorail and LRT daily users, December brings a crappy end to a year that hasn't offered them much to be happy about in the first place. Reason: their fares have not only gone up, in some cases they've gone up by way too much. The monorail ride form Titiwangsa to Raja Chulan, for example is RM3.10 now, up from RM1.60 last week. 

Is that acceptable? No, it isn't. If the people at the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) think it is OK, there's something wrong with them.

SPAD chairman Syed Hamid Albar said the increase was necessary because the fares had remained unchanged since 2002. While that's true (and Syed Hamid only took charge five years ago), that little piece of information is not going to make people feel better or lighten their extra load.

If the authorities had done their job and not wait 13 years to move their butts, the fare from Titiwangsa to Raja Chulan would have eased up by maybe 5 sen or 10 sen every year. That would be a lot less painful.

Prasarana's idea of consolation was no better  [LRT, Monorail fares to be charged by distance from Dec 2, The Star, Nov 2]. What are they trying to say: that the folks in Keramat, Sentul, and Wangsa Maju should move to Puchong or Bangi to take advantage of the cheaper, longer rides?

We have been clamouring for better public transportation for decades. I think the Government is making great strides in providing that and meeting the people's expectations. Even Puchong is connected by LRT today something nobody thought was going to happen 10 years ago. And we are all looking forward to the MRT because it will change not just the way we move around within the city. it will improve our quality of life as well. 

The fare rationalisation is needed, no doubt, but SPAD has to be mroe reasonable and seen to be making more sense. If the government is prepared to review the ERL's new fares (which will affect fewer people, actually, and benefit YTL more than anyone else, I'm quite sure), the more reason for this Administration to take another, closer look at the whole fare rationalisation and make adjustments to ensure that it is fair to all users. Don't forget the KTM Komuter, I think that's a real time-bomb.

Let's not turn our dream into a nightmare, Tan Sri Syed. 


  1. Mungkin ada kaitan dengan PAU minngu depan nih.

  2. Anonymous11:49 am

    "Don't forget the KTM Komuter, I think that's a real time-bomb."

    Up 36%.

    LRT up by average of 50%.

    ERL up by RM20.

    No worries.

    If you protest, once the Chief Crook gets his NSC Bill passed, they can shoot you in the head and your family can't sue them.

    Legally immune.

    Don't ask any more questions about the massive songlap.

    Don't wanna get shot, do you?

  3. Anonymous12:45 pm

    i'm staying in bangi, taking ktm komuter and then lrt to work at downtown kl. for 22 working days a month, i need to spend RM390 /month for ktm/lrt and parking fees. since i've parking provided bynmy office, maybe i should start driving to work, much cheaper and avoid the crowded train...

  4. Anonymous1:21 pm

    Why blame Syed Hamid. He is only doing his job. He is not putting the money into his pocket. In the rail business, a lot of stuff got to be imported. And they are in USD, Euro, Yen or whatever. Of late, our currency have depreciated quite a lot against these international currencies. So these extra costs have to be passed on to the consumers lah. Gomen cannot subsidise anymore. Not much money left; also cannot encourage this subsidy mentality. BR1M also have taken quite a lot of it. So use BR1M money to pay for the increased fares lah; and don't go vaping.

  5. Anonymous2:15 pm

    More than justified...don't complain, it's only an added 14 cents to a kilometre!

  6. Singapore review public transit fares every year.

  7. Anonymous3:04 pm

    That's the problem with populist measures, isn't it?

    You hold off in what seems to be typical price hikes every 3-5 years and decided to dump it all at one go when times are bad because nobody had the political will to raise it after more than a decade.

    This sort of negative feedback will further increase the number of disenchanted urbanites so expect a bigger winning margin for the opposition come GE14 and we might see all KL Parliament seats going to Pakatan.

  8. Anonymous4:06 pm


    Well, can you trust a govt that cannot even count?

    'The question to answer is whether or not 1MDB suffered a loss, alleged by Tun Dr Mahathir, or broke even, as countered by Arul Kanda, from its sale of Edra to CGN.

    Even without doing any deep analysis, you can understand Tun’s argument pretty well. After all, 1MDB paid altogether RM 12.3 billion to acquire the equity for the IPPs and is now receiving RM 9.83 billion for the same equity. This figure rises to RM 12.5 billion if you include the investment in the solar project in Kedah where 1MDB controversially bought out a JV Partner for a hefty amount of US $64m.

    That is about RM 2.5 billion less WITHOUT even considering the effect of the borrowings in US Dollar.

    1MDB attempts to justify part of the RM 2.5 billion difference by claiming it received cash dividends of RM 2 billion over the period it owned Edra.

    That is a misleading “auta-esque” statement because 1MDB does not include the cash interest it paid on the loans used to secure the purchase of the IPP Equity

    So they raised USD $1.75 billion at 5.99%, which works out to USD $104m of interest costs per year, borrowed a Syndicated Term loan of RM 6.17 billion at 5.47% or RM 337 million a year and a "small " RM 600 million loan at about 5% , or RM 30 million a year.

    Based on a holding period of 2 years, the total interest paid would work out to about RM 1.4 billion.

    Altogether, they paid about RM 1.4 billion in terms of interest cost over the loans used to secure the "equity" for the IPPs. So the "net" dividend they received would only be RM 600 million and not RM 2 billion as alleged.

    So outright, 1MDB has sustained an "cash" loss of RM 2 billion because they paid RM 12.5 billion to purchase the assets at inflated prices and received in total RM 9.83 billion + RM 600 million - nett dividend , or altogether RM 10.4 billion.

    That is Auta Number 1 that needs to be sorted

    On Auta Number 2, Tun Dr Mahathir raises a very valid point in that "1MDB loses approximately RM 1 on every USD borrowed" due to the depreciation of the Ringgit, which ironically was partly caused by 1MDB itself.

    Actually Tun's analogy is really well put and all you need to do is to multiply the amount borrowed in USD, which was USD $1,750 million by x losing RM 1 for every USD borrowed = Loss of RM 1.75 billion.

    That makes the holding period loss after including the financing aspect of this deal at a staggering RM 3.75 billion.

    Break even? Who are you kidding?'


  9. Anonymous4:36 pm

    Kan Najib dah bagi BR1M untuk tampung inflasi. Tak cukup ke?

  10. Anonymous4:55 pm

    I am not sure where you are going with this.

    It was reported that the Singapore government will spend more than S$1 billion (RM3 billion) to buy 99 new trains for the MRT system.

    In fact, the public transport system operating model in Singapore has the government owning all the assets and Infrastructure and leasing them to public transport operators.

  11. Anonymous6:16 pm

    Ingat Brim ... ingat Najib
    Ingat Najib ... ingat Brim
    Ingat apabila kis naik ... bukan kerana harga meningkat ... cumanya rakyat terpaksa membayar lebih kerana subsidi telah dirasionalisasikan ....
    Ingatlah Brim ... Ingatlah Najib ... dan jangan lupa rasionalisasi subsidi ....
    sokong najib ...

  12. I firmly believe the increase in fares of commuter transportations is meant to jeorpadise Prime Minister Najib Razak's leadership to make him look bad, and to make people hate the BN government, it is although the govertnment does not give two hoot about the people. I can take five ringgit increase for the ERL but 20 ringgit increase?

  13. Anonymous1:02 am

    Why worry so much.. the govt has reduced the price of RON95 by TEN CENTS laa to easy the burden of the rakyat.. Pencapaian diutamakan, rakyat didahulukan.. kipidap najib.. kipidap BN

  14. Inilah yang Najib kata RAKYAT DIDAHULUKAN(untuk menjadi mangsa)

  15. It's okey. They are mostly dont vote for bn.

  16. Anonymous9:42 am

    The stupid KLIA Express increases fare from RM35 to RM55!!! the Minister is clearly having retarded brain, it's 79% increment macha!!!

  17. YTL is chinese bumiputera!7:58 pm

    Please pity the no 1 Chinese bumiputera christian Francis Yeoh Tiong Lay.
    After all if the United Malay National Organisation (UMNO) dont fight for the bumiputera chinese Christian Francis Yeoh Tiong Lay, who would?

    Yeoh Tiong Lay is the numero uno bumiputera for UMNO Presidents, Deputy Presidents.
    Oh how Muhyidin and Mahathir and Najib love Yeoh Tiong Lay..

  18. Anonymous10:03 pm

    Najib not just looking bad, he is indeed bad now.

    Being Umno and BN voters since 1986, BN is indeed Barang Naik.

    7 vote from my home in P. titiwangsa will not be for Najib next time. With majority less than 1k in Pru13, farewell to Dato Johari in Pru14.

  19. Anonymous7:50 am

    They need this quick rich scheme to get billions before due date at all cost.