Sunday, June 22, 2008
By YENG AI CHUN
GEORGE TOWN: The daily commute along the Penang Bridge has become less stressful for project manager Jessie Teo.
Ever since fuel prices went up early this month, she noticed there were fewer cars on the bridge.
“Though there are traffic jams at peak hours, traffic flow is smoother,” said Teo who drives to the factory on the mainland where she works.
She added that many of her colleagues had started carpooling to cut transport cost.
Supervisor Omar Awang, 47, has switched to riding a motorcycle.
“Tak boleh tahan (Cannot take it). How can we drive everywhere with the recent hike in fuel prices?
“The roads are less congested these days and I’m not surprised that many have opted to ride a motorcycle,” he said.
A spokesman for Penang Bridge Sdn Bhd (PBSB) said some 67,000 vehicles traversed the bridge a day.
“But traffic reduced by 7% a few days after the fuel price increase. The traffic volume at peak times such as Monday morning and Friday evening has also gone down,” she said.
In JOHOR BARU, Pan Malaysia Lorry Owners’ Association president Er Sui See said the number of lorries operating nationwide has gone down by a third.
“The decrease is due to higher transportation costs as well as dearer construction materials.
“Most of the lorries transport construction materials and the orders for these items have plunged since the price hike,” he said.
“However, lorries transporting perishables such as vegetables, seafood and poultry are not affected.”
Johor Lorry Operator’s Association president Leow Hock Tiap said lorry owners in the state were facing the same problem.
“We proposed a 40% increase but our clients think it is too high.
“They are only willing to pay up to 25% more so negotiations are still ongoing,” he said.
However, Leow said this was just “an adjustment period” and believed operations would be back to normal within a month.
By GEETHA KRISHNAN
PUTRAJAYA: The recent fuel price hike has contributed to an increase in public transport usage in Putrajaya.
Pengangkutan Awam Putrajaya Sdn Bhd (PAPSB) has recorded a 10% increase in the number of passengers opting for the internal Nadi Putra bus service since the 41% petrol hike was announced in early June.
Nadi Putra was previously managed by Eco-Coach (M) Sdn Bhd with PAPSB, a subsidiary of Putrajaya Corporation (PJC), taking over the operations from May last year. An estimated 9,300 passengers use the service daily.
Nadi Putra currently serves 12 routes and is operational from 6.30am to 12.30am. The fare is 50 sen for adults and 30 sen for children.
At the launch of the Zero Road Deaths Campaign at the Nadi Putra bus depot in Precinct 9 recently, PJC president Tan Sri Samsudin Osman said five more buses would be acquired to boost the service.
“The population of Putrajaya is currently estimated at 50,000. The additional buses to complement the existing fleet of 55 will be brought in by year-end,” he said.
Of the 55 buses in the current fleet, 51 are NGVs.
Samsudin also said that motorists were encouraged to leave their vehicles at the park-and-ride facilities and to travel by bus to ease the parking woes here.
Sunday June 22, 2008 THESTAR
By YIP YOKE TENG
KUALA LUMPUR: Fewer motorists have been driving into the city since fuel prices shot up early this month.
Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) recorded a 2% drop, according to statistics recorded by its Integrated Transport Information System.
Its Urban Transportation Department director Dr Leong Siew Mun noted an average 561,000 cars entering the city on a normal day in May, whereas its latest figures showed a 2% decrease.
“However, it is still too early to evaluate the impact of the fuel price hike on this aspect as the people are still adjusting to the new price,” he said.
On the other hand, RapidKL’s communications general manager Ebi Azly Abdullah said the company had observed an increase in the number of passengers on its bus and train networks following the fuel price increase.
He added that the company was conducting a proper study to find out the exact percentage of increase.
“The company would like to advise members of the public to take public transport to save cost. They can park their cars at the LRT stations, take a taxi or even cycle there,” he said.
Retiree K. H. Tham from Subang said that he and four of his friends had turned to the bus whenever they made trips into the city.
“We choose off-peak hours so there is not much inconvenience. The trip costs us RM4 each and we are applying for the senior citizen cards that give us a 50% discount.
“We usually need to wait 15 to 20 minutes for the bus to come. Whether or not this is acceptable is secondary, as I don’t think there’s a better option,” he said.
Bank executive Lim Mei Leng, who drives from Subang to Dang Wangi to work, said she and her colleagues were considering switching to public transport.
PLUS Expressways Bhd expects traffic volume to drop following the 41% hike in petrol prices but believes this is only temporary.
Traffic volume on the expressways recorded a strong growth of 7.7% last year and, according to PLUS chairman Tan Sri Mohd Sheriff Mohd Kassim, growth for the first four months of this year was still high.
Sunday June 22, 2008 THE STAR
By RASHVINJEET S.BEDI
KUALA LUMPUR: The increase in fuel prices has encouraged some people who used to drive to switch to public transport.
M. Dharmalingam, 61, who runs a small business in Kuala Lumpur, said parking charges had generally gone up, in some cases from RM1 to RM1.50 an hour.
He now travels to the Central Market by LRT and estimates saving RM20 a day. This translates into RM600 a month.
“I can cover my marketing with that,” he said.
Dharmalingam is planning to buy the monthly pass, which costs RM100.
“Sometimes, I go to the city two or three times a day so it would make economic sense,” he said, adding that the price to pay though is that travelling time is almost doubled.
K. Subramaniam, 56, who works in Ulu Klang, switched to the LRT three months ago because of “personal reasons”. And he will not look back as he saves RM15 a week (before the petrol hike) by using the LRT.
“I find it economical and I will stick to what I’m doing,” he said, adding that it takes an extra 15 minutes to reach his workplace in the morning.
Yip Kok Foo, 52, who works in Kuala Lumpur and has been taking the LRT for a year, notices more people on the trains.
“There seems to be many first-timers who are looking for directions. Now I need to wait for a few trains to pass before I can get on,” said Yip, adding that some of his colleagues are using motorcycles instead of cars.
Another commuter, Hector Jinton, 49, echoes Yip’s view, saying that the queues are longer and starting earlier.
“People park their cars everywhere around the station and there seems to be a lot of new faces. Even the executives seem to be using the LRT,” he said.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
- Story Highlights
- Bill aims to set aside $14.9 billion for Amtrak over next 5 years
- Measure passes by a veto-proof 311-104; Senate has OK'd similar measure
- Amendment would give Washington's transit system $1.5 billion over 10 years
- White House says bill doesn't hold Amtrak accountable, threatens veto
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A nearly $15 billion Amtrak bill passed the House on Wednesday as lawmakers rallied around an alternative for travelers saddled with soaring gas prices.
A record 25.8 million passengers took Amtrak in the most recent fiscal year.
The bipartisan bill, which passed by a veto-proof margin of 311-104, would authorize funding for the national passenger railroad over the next five years. Some of the money would go to a program of matching grants to help states set up or expand rail service.
Besides the $14.9 billion provided for Amtrak and intercity rail, an amendment to the bill would authorize $1.5 billion for Washington's Metro transit system over the next 10 years.
The White House has threatened a veto, saying the bill doesn't hold Amtrak accountable for its spending. But similar legislation has passed the Senate, also with enough support to override a veto.
"Nothing could be more fitting to bring before the Congress today, on a day when gasoline has reached $4.05 a gallon across the United States on average," said Rep. John Mica, R-Florida, a longtime Amtrak critic who teamed up with Transportation Committee Chairman James Oberstar, D-Minnesota, on the legislation.
Amtrak's previous authorization expired in 2002. The railroad's supporters say that a new authorization will allow Amtrak to make long-range plans and take advantage of what they say is a growing appetite for passenger rail.
Unlike the Senate version, the House bill includes a requirement for the Department of Transportation to seek proposals from private companies to create a high-speed service that would take travelers from Washington to New York in two hours or less. The idea has long been championed by Mica, who says the United States must catch up with European and Asian countries on high-speed rail travel.
Critics say the proposal would undermine Amtrak by peeling off its most valuable asset: the Northeast Corridor.
Rep. Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania said provisions that open the door to private investment should help ease the concerns of fellow Republicans who have balked at supporting Amtrak.
But those provisions could complicate things when the House tries to work out a compromise bill with the Senate.
Amtrak said it was pleased that both the House and the Senate had acted.
"This reflects strong support for intercity passenger rail service, and we look forward to working with Congress as they move forward to reconcile a final authorization bill," spokesman Cliff Black said.
The Bush administration and other Amtrak critics want to see the company move toward self-sufficiency, but Amtrak supporters say passenger railroads around the globe require government subsidies and point to the large sums of federal money spent on highways.
A bid by Rep. Geoff Davis, R-Kentucky, to send the bill back to committee to add an alternative fuel study was rejected.
"In the areas where American budgets are being hardest hit by gas prices, consuming 16 percent of gross incomes, they have very little access to Amtrak," Davis said. "How does this bill help those Americans deal with our energy crisis?"
Amtrak's boosters say the high cost of driving has made people eager for more and better rail service.
A record 25.8 million passengers took Amtrak in the last fiscal year. The railroad expects ridership to approach 28 million this year, Black said.May was the biggest month in Amtrak's 37-year history, with total ridership up 12 percent over last year and ticket revenue up 16 percent over last year. Black said Amtrak's marketing research indicates that about half the increase can be attributed to gas prices.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
|June 12, 2008|
| KUALA LUMPUR - MALAYSIA Airlines will raise its fuel surcharge substantially to counter rising crude oil prices within the next two weeks, chief executive officer Idris Jala said on Thursday. |
'The increase will be on a route-by-route basis and will happen within two weeks,' he said, according to the state Bernama news agency. 'It will be high - and in line with what our competitors are imposing.'
Mr Jala, who earlier this month announced that the airline was freezing recruitment and considering axing more routes to cut costs, said the entire industry was in crisis.
'If the oil prices stay at the current levels, a lot of airline companies could go bankrupt,' he said.
He said this was the fifth fuel surcharge hike Malaysia Airlines had imposed over the past year as global crude oil prices continued to reach record levels.
Among cost-cutting measures, the carrier also plans to cut off non-profitable routes.
Malaysia Airlines in February had posted an all-time record profit of RM851 million (S$358 million) for 2007, ending a series of disastrous losses.
The result was the culmination of a sweeping transformation plan, which saw the airline slash staff and routes and sell non-core assets after suffering losses of RM1.3 billion in the first nine months of 2005. -- AFP
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
By CHRISTINA LOW
BUS shelters are rarely nice places to wait for public transport, as they are often dirty and not well maintained.
At night, many bus shelters look like a scene from a haunted house with the dimly-lit fluorescent lighting.
This will have to change if Kuala Lumpur plans on becoming a world-class city and Parisign Marketing Sdn Bhd has taken the first step to help improve the situation.
“We wanted to do something nice and adaptable to the environment and buildings around us,” Parisign managing director Michael Tan said.
Shiny sight: At night, the shelters are brightly lit to enhance safety.
The company specialising in signage manufacturing took months to study shelters in various parts of the world before deciding on one that will suit the local weather.
“In China, they have winter so their shelters are built for it but we can’t adapt such designs here as we have tropical weather,’ Tan, who has more than 25 years experience in building bus shelters, said.
Early this year, the company completed 154 bus and taxi shelters allocated to them by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).
All bear the same design of glass panels and are brightly lit at night.
They also give the public a good view of the city’s skyline.
General manager Henry Tan, who was put in charge of completing the shelters, said the design was chosen to give the city a modern outlook as well as make the shelters a safer place to wait for taxis and buses.
Work on the shelters began in June last year and it took three days to complete a shelter, before the laying of electricity cables, tiling and lighting could be added.
The glass roof and backdrop differentiate the shelters from others as it was the company’s copyrighted design.
Parisign did not back down from complaints or comments on the new shelters.
Colourful: One of the new shelters along Jalan Sultan Ismail.
“We made a lot of adjustments after listening to public feedback. Most of the complaints were about the glass roof and that it was too hot,” Henry said after a trial bus shelter was placed in the Jalan Pudu area.
Parsign went on to improve its glass ceiling to provide more protection from the rain and added Rike Cool lamination, which is said to be able to provide at least 90% protection from IR radiation and also able to generate a cooling environment.
For the new style seating which is made of stainless steel, Tan said they had received complaints that it was too hot, especially during the dry season, but Parisign continued with the design in hopes of curbing vandalism.
The shelters are also equipped with side glass panels for more protection as well as bus route maps for the convenience of the public.
“We will also be introducing vending machines at the shelters so that the public can buy drinks while waiting, as certain locations do not have kiosks,” Henry said.
At night, all bus shelters are fully lighted and site inspectors will monitor the conditions regularly.
“They will check if there are bills stuck on our shelters as well as the power source is fully functioning,” Henry said, adding that any repairs would be completed within three days.
Parisign completed the task as a form of sponsorship with its sole income coming from advertisements on the shelters.
“We have invested RM22mil in building the shelters,” Henry said.
Costs also runs high if an accident occurs involving the shelters or vandals damage the glass panels, which the company has to replace within 24 hours.
From the revenue received from the advertising, Parisign said it had invested RM1.5mil in providing several improvements to the shelters.
Parisgn’s new shelters are located in Jalan Ampang, Jalan Ara, Jalan Burhanuddin Helmi, Jalan Dungun, Jalan Gereja, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Jalan Hang Tuah, Jalan Lapangan Terbang, Jalan Pahang, Jalan Munshi Abdullah, Jalan Raja Laut, Jalan Pinang, Jalan Raja Muda, Jalan Syed Putra, Jalan Yap Ah Loy, Jalan Tan Siew Sing, Jalan Tun Perak, Jalan TAR, Bukit Bintang, Jalan Dang Wangi, Jalan Imbi, Jalan Melaka, Jalan P.Ramlee, Jalan Pudu, Jalan Raja Chulan, Jalan Semantan, Jalan Melaka,Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Tun Razak.
Petaling Jaya folks can look forward to such designs in their neighbourhood soon as it is the second phase project after Kuala Lumpur.
Henry said work in Petaling Jaya had begun in stages.
Monday, June 9, 2008
Tuesday June 10, 2008 THESTAR
By TEH ENG HOCK
PUTRAJAYA: Bus fares will be reviewed every six months, instead of once every few years.
Commercial Vehicle and Licensing Board director Naimah Ramli said this was decided at the Cabinet Committee on Public Transportation meeting chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak last month.
“This does not mean that fares will go up every six months. The Government will just review the fares, and decide if there should be a hike or to maintain the rates,” she said.
Deputy Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said the Government would decide whether to raise or maintain the fares for public transportation after a research paper is presented to the Cabinet.
“We have done a survey over the past year to look at the contributing factors (to rising public transportation costs). We cannot simply announce a new pricing table overnight,” he told reporters.
Asked when the paper would be tabled to the Cabinet, he said they would “try to present it by the end of this month”.
On a question whether it was fair to prevent companies from raising their fares when their cost of operations had shot up, Saifuddin advised operators to be patient and to follow the approved fares set by the Government.
On cases of bus tickets being sold above the approved price, he said 41 bus permits had been forfeited between June 6 and 8 for various offences committed.
Meanwhile, Konsortium Transnasional Bhd managing director Datuk Mohd Nadzmi Mohd Salleh said that unless the Government allows a huge increase in fares, the industry might fall into a state of anarchy.
“At the last review in May 2005, the rate of subsidised diesel was 71 sen per litre. The subsidised rate now is RM1.43, which is a 100% increase.
“This has translated to my company incurring additional expenses of RM35mil a year. For the first time, my company is in the red,” he said.
Nadzmi said although they receive subsidised diesel at full quota, they needed “at least a 60% fare increase to break even or incur just a small loss”.
He added that the bus fare in Indonesia at eight sen a km was higher than Malaysia’s, which is 6.5 sen per km.
He said unless a significant increase was approved, operators would stop following the law to survive.
“You can put 100 enforcement officers today. Can you do the same everyday?” said Nadzmi.
Pan Malaysian Bus Operators Association (PMBOA) president Datuk Ashfar Ali concurred with Nadzmi, saying that diesel constituted about 30% of operational costs.
“The subsidised rate has gone up, but our fares have not. Our drivers get annual increments, while the cost of spare parts and labour has also gone up,” he said.
Sunday, June 8, 2008
NEVER mind the locals; imagine what the foreigners would think the moment they step into the country through our world-renowned airports.
Being confronted by taxi touts the moment they step out of the arrival lounge is surely an unpleasant experience they never expected to encounter at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). The problem of touts has always been there but why is it the authorities are unable to deal with it.
I remember the announcements made via the PA system reminding tourists to ignore taxi touts at the arrival lounge, but shouldn't the authorities make sure that there are no taxi touts instead of just informing them to take such taxis?
Most of the victims are first-time visitors to the country who are unfamiliar with the transport system and facilities and therefore become easy targets for the touts, who mislead them into taking their services.
Malaysia Airports Bhd (MAB) chairman Tan Sri Dr Aris Othman, he said although they had received several complaints, the problem was beyond MAB's jurisdiction as it came under the purview of the Transport Ministry and the Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development Ministry.
Frequent travellers find it frustrating when the authorities cannot deal with some basic requirements expected of a world-class destination, and a real hard look at the situation of shortage of taxis at the airport will allow touts to be in business.
And again, if we are serious about attracting tourists and businessmen to Malaysia, we need to improve the taxi service, as it is in a taxi that foreign visitors get their first impression of our country.
It is not difficult to figure out why all the good feelings about our country evaporate the moment the tourists are greeted by touts, and now this scourge is also rampant at the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT).
For the record, just after five days it began operations on March 25, 2006, the LCCT was already tainted by the presence of taxi touts. Although there are now more than 600 premier and budget taxis operating there, touts are going about luring passengers discreetly.
However, unlike the KLIA main terminal where the queue for taxis is long and many passengers find it frustrating to wait in line, taxis are not a problem at the LCCT – the problem lies with taxi touts.
It is time the authorities work towards revamping the airport taxi service to make it a reliable public transport system for both tourists and local commuters. Sadly, although numerous promises have been made, the problem of touts persist at the airport.
A foreigner once commented that if anyone had nice things to say about Malaysia, it certainly would not include the airport taxi service which is filled with touts. If we are serious about KLIA and LCCT becoming world-class airports then we no choice but to rid the problem of touts comprehensively. Of course this requires strict enforcement and taking stern action against the touts.
When this happens, hopefully our visitors will have a more pleasant experience in Malaysia.
Saturday, June 7, 2008
KUALA LUMPUR: The impact of the fuel price rise is starting to affect consumers, with transport and crane operators now increasing their rates by between 29% and 45%.
Sabah Federation of Lorry Transportation Associations president Chua Pui Ming said its members had increased rates by 45% since June 5.
Under the new rates, traders who used to fork out RM600 to send a shipment of goods overland from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan now have to pay RM870.
Stating that the federation's 3,000 members had no choice but to increase rates, Chua said the fuel subsidies that some of them received through the fleet card system was minimal.
In a statement issued yesterday, the Association of Tipper Lorry Owners of Selangor and Kuala Lumpur said they would increase their rates by 40% with immediate effect.
President Lee Keen Seng said the increase was in the rate for transporting goods by tipper lorries.
In BUTTERWORTH, Mobile Crane Association North Malaya president Lee Tuck Woh said the association had decided to increase mobile crane charges in four states by RM100, effective Friday.
“It is not just the price of diesel that has gone up. The cost of steel cable wires, tyres, batteries and spare parts have also increased in the past few months,” said Lee.
The RM100 increase is for seven types of cranes, ranging from seven to 60-tonne and sky-lift equipment.
Lee said they used to charge RM350 per day for a seven-tonne crane.
He added that rental for 20m to 24m sky-lift equipment would now cost RM500 per day compared to RM400 previously.
Although the new charges would affect the construction and industrial sectors and haulage industry, he said they had no choice in the matter.
The association represents 60 members from Perlis, Kedah, Penang and Perak, who operate about 600 mobile cranes.
By LEONG SHEN-LI
THE math is quite simple. With as little as RM7, you can travel almost anywhere on Klang Valley’s RapidKL’s buses and light rail transit for the whole day. With a monthly pass for RM135 – just a little more than a full tank of petrol for a Proton Wira – your month’s transport needs should be taken care of. The cost should be lower in other parts of the country.
But of course, the current state of our public transport obviously cannot take care of anyone’s needs satisfactorily.
Unreliable buses and trains, sardine-packed LRTs, delayed buses because of traffic jams, safety concerns and a host of other negative issues make public transport hardly desirable as an alternative to private cars.
Here are some crucial improvements needed before public transport can become a true option for people.
1. More trains and buses
It is as basic as this! Not only will service become more reliable, more trains and buses will make public transport less packed and more attractive.
No one, especially women, will trade the comfort of a car for a situation where one is pressed all over by other humans in a train, even if it costs more.
Promises were made for more LRT vehicles and buses under the RapidKL and Rapid Penang regimes. How much longer do we have to wait?
2. Get the new lines going
The new Damansara-Cheras LRT line, as well as the Subang Jaya and Puchong extensions, were announced by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in 2006. Till today, we have not heard about when work will start.
We do not even know where they will run. It is crucial to also think beyond these new lines.
Singapore already knows where its new Mass Rapid Transit lines will run in 2020.
3. Cash for maintenance
The KTM Komuter, after running for 13 years, is now suffering from years of “postponing” maintenance due to funding issues. The LRT system is about 10 years old now, which is about the right time for an overhaul.
RapidKL is also facing issues with keeping its buses on the road because of breakdowns. Other private companies can hardly afford regular maintenance, what more, overhauling. The Government must come to their aid.
Get the allocations disbursed quickly, get the tenders out without delay and pick the correct people to do the work. Remember, keeping enough buses on the road is not just about buying new buses. It is about keeping the existing ones in working condition.
4. Low fares through subsidies
Low fares are crucial, especially when we are putting the case for public transport in the context of rising living costs. Most people who rely on public transport cannot afford any other means of travel.
If there is a group of people who should benefit from subsidies, this should be the one. Subsidies can come from taxing private car users – either through road tax or road pricing. The World Bank says that private car users are generally “undercharged” for using urban roads and for their impact on the environment.
5. One or two companies enough
Competition in public transport is not about having many companies running the same route, it is about competing for the right to run on a particular route.
An operator is selected on the basis of being most able to satisfy the requirements of commuters and other parties (reliable service, safe buses, lowest subsidy) and once selected, it should enjoy a monopoly of the route.
The Government will have to regulate to ensure service is up to the mark. The benchmark should be the best-run route in the system.
6. One regulatory authority
It is a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth, as each cook has his own ideas and conflicting interests. Now, 13 government departments and agencies have a say in public transport.
There should just be one to plan the system, dish out the permits (to control the number of operators), organise the routes (to curb duplication) and ensure that the trains and buses run according to time.
It should also be the one dishing out subsidies. The single authority should have only one objective and no other – to ensure that the public gets good public transport.
7. Bus lanes and other facilities
Buses should have their own “track” so that they can be faster than private cars. That is the only way public transport can be more attractive than cars.
Modern bus lanes such as those in Curitiba, Brazil, and Jakarta – where they are virtually separate special roads just for buses – have made bus transport a success. And don’t worry if road users complain. The one lane taken away from them is making the movement of thousands of people more efficient. Bus lanes are also cheaper than train systems and can be just as efficient.
8. Ensure safety of passengers
It should be a basic right of commuters to be able to travel safely. An unsafe system will only turn people away.
9. Good customer information
There is no point in having hundreds of beautiful buses on the road without commuters knowing where they are going. Many rather drive than take buses because they are in control of their journey. The more people know how the system works, the more they will use the system.
10. Please walk the talk
All the above initiatives and problems have been recognised, considered and studied. Announcements are regularly made of moves to improve the system. Yet this comment still has to be written in such a tone. There may ultimately just be one paramount suggestion – don’t just talk, please get things moving!
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Scenes of chaos at petrol stations
PETALING JAYA: Most major roads in the city were grid-locked as long queues of cars lined up at petrol stations to fill up in time before petrol pumps adjusted their prices.
The scene was repeated in most cities and towns around the country such as Johor Baru, Penang, and even Miri.
Popular stop: Vehicles waiting to fill up at a petrol station in Kampung Baru Wednesday night.
The jams started even before the 5pm announcement by the Prime Minister. SMSes had been circulating earlier saying that petrol was going to cost RM2.70 a litre.
In Kuala Lumpur and here, any road with a petrol station was clogged as queues as long as several kilometres formed.
Tempers also flared when drivers reacted angrily at those who jumped queue.
They also blew their top when some petrol stations shut their pumps, claiming that their stocks had been exhausted.
Many drivers thought that they closed because they were hoping to sell at the higher prices.
“The Government should take action against such unscrupulous practices,” an angry Chan Teik Keen, a consultant, said.