Malaysiakini Letter

Include Touch 'n Go services in the monopoly scrutiny list

Darshan Singh Dhillon  |  Published:

LETTER | The Malaysia Consumers Movement (MCM) commends Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail for his efforts in addressing the issue of monopoly or cartels in Malaysia, in his bid to spur competition in business and reduce the cost of living.

We all know that when firms compete healthily with each other, consumers stand to get the best possible prices, quantity, and quality of goods and services. 

It is therefore important that the government constantly monitors the economic landscape to ensure that market positions are not abused at the expanse of consumers’ wellbeing.

As reported by the media, the minister listed down a certain number of companies whose market position and business model is under scrutiny but we are sure there exist more of such businesses and one such company is Touch 'n Go Sdn Bhd.

Currently, all highway, public transport and public parking electronic payment system are controlled by Touch 'n Go. 

While reloads at highway toll booths are without charge, there is a charge imposed by others. Instead of paying lesser when using a prepaid cash card, left without option, consumers’ end up paying a surcharge up to 10 percent. Why does the government allow this to continue?

While this issue has been brought up many times by various stakeholders, it has never gained any traction for a solution. 

The MCM therefore echoes earlier calls and requests the government to also include Touch 'n Go services in its scrutiny list and allow more players to participate this this area of business.

Under Bank Negara’s Financial Sector Blueprint 2011-2020, one key objective is to promote greater economic efficiency through e-payments. How will this be achieved when businesses like Touch 'n Go is allowed to continue under its present model?

The writer is MCM president.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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