Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Lorry operators seek increase of laden weight


The Federation of Sabah Lorry Transportation Associations (FSLTA) is urging the State Infrastructure Ministry to look into the issue of increasing the laden weight of members’ Lorries.

“This is a long standing problem and further delay in standardizing the laden weight with Peninsular Malaysia will cause sufferings to our members and delay in the State’s development,” FSLTA President Steven Chua Pui Ming said.

Chua said that the laden weight for Lorries in Sabah was much lower than their counterparts in Peninsular Malaysia because the State Public Works Department (PWD) was worried that the existing bridges cannot accommodate heavier loads.

“But the 12,000 units of containers in Sabah have been traveling back and forth the existing bridges without any problem. We haven’t seen any bridge or road collapse because of the containers,” he said when met after a dialogue with Road Transport Department (RTD). Director General Datuk Solah Mat Hassan, taxi and bus associations and other transport parties with RTD, the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (CVLB), the Computerized Vehicle Inspection System Centre (Puspakom) and Police here yesterday.

According to Chua, the State PWD was using the excuse of the bridges as a way to get money from the Federal Government to upgrade the bridges in Sabah.

“The Federal PWD had no objection to the laden weight increase and during Datuk Samy Vellu’s time, it was already agreed to increase the laden weight for Sabah lorries to 40 tonnes,” he said, adding that it was supported by all the relevant departments except the Sabah PWD which said that the bridges in the State must be upgraded first before the increase could be implemented.

Chua also said that the issue had been brought to the attention of Infrastructure Development Minister Datuk Raymond Tan and the State PWD on numerous occasions but they have yet to give FSLTA a positive feedback.

Meanwhile, Chua said FSLTA members were happy with the temporary approval for lorries in Sabah to carry five percent more of their current laden weight.

“This means that there will be less summonses for our members and a smoother transportation of materials and machineries among others throughout the State as we will be able to carry five percent more,” he said, adding that the temporary reprieve would be good for the State’s development and economic growth.

Sabah MCA Deputy Chairman Datuk Paul Kong who was also at the dialogue, thanked Transport Minister Datuk Sen Ong Tee Keat for helping to organise the forum.

“A lot of problems faced by the transport sector in Sabah were resolved today and this augurs well for the State’s development,” Kong said.