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Retailers puncture Najib’s tyre aid

 | July 9, 2012

Taxi drivers claim that several tyre shops registered under the Bantuan Tayar 1Malaysia scheme hiked up tyre prices after the vouchers were released.

PETALING JAYA: Several tyre shops have increased tyre prices after the government announced the tyre voucher programme to help taxi drivers.

Some 15 taxi drivers from Petaling Jaya 7 (PJS7) made this allegation at a hastily arranged press conference this evening outside a tyre outlet at Bandar Sunway.

Last month, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak announced the Bantuan Tayar 1Malaysia (BT1M) programme in order to provide assistance to taxi drivers.

Under the programme, taxi drivers would get a voucher worth RM520 to change their car tyres at selected tyre retailers in the country.

D Ragothman, 37, said that a 13-inch Goodyear tyre would usually cost between RM120 and RM130, inclusive of workmanship.

“So even if the tyre is charged at the maximum price, the RM520 voucher is sufficient to purchase all four tyres needed for a taxi,” said Ragothman.

To his surprise, he alleged that the outlet at PJS7demanded an additional RM15 for each tyres.

“When I asked them why, they said that tyre prices had gone up,” claimed Ragothman.

Another taxi driver, P Devan, said that just two months ago, he changed two tyres for his vehicle for just RM110 per unit.

“Now I check with some the registered retailers, and they say the price for the same tyre has shot up to RM140. What is happening?” he asked.

Increase between RM15 and RM40

FMT checked a quotation, claimed to have been given by the outlet which showed the additional charges.

While a 13-inch tyre, normally used for a Proton Saga, is charged an additional RM15, a 14-inch tyre usually used for Proton Waja is charged an additional RM40.

Fellow taxi driver, Alias Hider, urged the government to take action against the errant tyre retailers for hiking prices indiscriminately.

“The prime minister is trying to help taxi drivers but errant retailers are throwing a spanner into his works,” said Alias.

Whether they have tried purchasing tyres from other retailers, Ragothman said that taxi drivers are only allowed to use the vouchers at specified outlets only.

“The outlet code number is indicated in the voucher so we can only go to the specific shop. We can’t even go to its other branches,” he said.

The outlet supervisor, William Soh, left the premises despite FMT’s attempt to get comments on the matter.

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