By SIRA HABIBU
ALOR STAR, MALAYSIA: Ferry operators in Tioman and Labuan said they would be forced to impose surcharges of between RM10 and RM30 if the authorities continue to ignore their request for subsidised fuel.
They say it was not fair that subsidised fuel was only given to ferry operators in Sarawak.
Fast Ferry Ventures Sdn Bhd manager David Sia said the company would soon charge passengers to Tioman an extra RM10 per adult and RM15 per child one way if the authorities continue to disregard their plea for subsidised fuel.
"We are running at a loss, as we cannot sustain operations with the current fare of RM35 per adult and RM25 per child," he said.
Sia said they were making losses amounting to between RM2,000 and RM3,000 per day during weekdays when the number of passengers was barely 60 per trip.
Labuan-based Syarikat Lista Sdn Bhd secretary Wong Chin Heng said the three ferry operators in Labuan suffered losses amounting to RM1mil last year because of the escalating fuel price.
"If we are not given subsidised fuel, we will have to impose a surcharge of between RM25 and RM30 per person on top of the RM31 per one way fare between Labuan and Kota Kinabalu," he said.
Wong said it would be impossible to sustain operation for long as the fuel price had been increasing drastically over the last two months, adding that the industrial rate of diesel had gone up from RM1.70 per litre to RM3.50 per litre within a year.