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Coutinho: gov’t should withdraw the new transport fee regulations

Law maker José Pereira Coutinho has urged the local gov’t to withdraw the new transport fees adjustment, announcing that a protest will be initiated by several associations and the public this coming Sunday

In the wake of the implementation of the new transport fees adjustment on the first day of this year, legislator José Pereira Coutinho, together with legislator Leong Veng Chai and representatives of associations and unions, urged the MSAR government to withdraw the new transport regulations during a press conference yesterday, proclaiming that a protest will the held this coming Sunday, January 8.
The legislator said the protest will start at 3pm in Tap Seac Square, and the crowd will walk to the government headquarters to submit a petition to demand that the government withdraw the new regulations.
Lei Kit Meng, Director of the Macau Worker Helper Union, revealed that the protest will be upgraded if the government has no intention to withdraw the new regulations.
Legislator Leong remarked that the government did not consult the public on the adjustments, and urged the public to voice their opinions on the matter.
“This instruction was signed by the Chief Executive on December 7,” said Leong. “The dispatch was then announced to the public on December 31 and implemented right away on January 1 […] in my opinion it is a conspiracy.”
Leong also said that the government is concerned that the rocketing transport prices would not be accepted by the public, leading it to be passive in responding to public enquiries about the topic, unlike other changes, such as the increase in price of car park services earlier, which was better divulged to the public.
In addition, Coutinho disagreed that the prices needed to be adjusted despite being unchanged for a decade, arguing that salaries in the same period were also not adjusted.

Awkward situations
Since the new transport fees implementation was made on such short notice, Patrick Tse, President of Macau Motor Traders Association told Business Daily that awkward situations arose when customers bought new vehicles just a few days before the new transportation fees were launched, when vehicle providers requested customers to pay the extra price for the inspection procedures.
“Many customers asked how come they were not informed about the increase in price for inspection when they paid for the new vehicles, and what we can say is we were not well informed either,” said Tse.
Tse said that there is nothing to be done if the government is determined to improve the city’s traffic environment, and in fact, the vehicle providers expected the adjustment, but he remarked that the government should allow a buffer period before full implementation.
Meanwhile, the president commented that sales of motor vehicles would be most affected, both in the new and second-hand market, due to the significant increase in the fees for vehicle inspections.
“People buy a motorcycle for around MOP10,000 and before they only needed to pay some MOP2,000 for inspection but now they need to pay MOP4,000 to MOP5,000, so now the ratio for the inspection would be bigger […] almost taking up one third of the price of the vehicle; we believe it mostly affects the motorcycle buyers,” opined the association president.