MATTA: Monopoly hurts tourism busienss

KUALA LUMPUR, 5 April 2024: The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) hails the ending of the Puspakom* monopoly as a vital step in transforming the tourism sector and congratulates YB Anthony Loke, Minister of Transport, for the “decisive move”.

The industry has long been plagued by inefficiencies related to the licensing of tourism vehicles, which has greatly impacted the industry and caused hardship and frustration amongst tourism vehicle operators.

This significant development marks a new era in the transportation industry, promising numerous benefits for stakeholders and consumers. MATTA recommended the following actions.

Improved Services and Benefits: The entry of various enterprises into the inspection services market marks a paradigm change that promotes healthy competition. More competition will result in a wider variety of service options, increased service quality and shorter wait times.

Improved Efficiency: The availability of multiple inspection providers will encourage service providers to streamline operations and provide timely, efficient service.

Innovation: New entrants to the market may bring greater innovation and technologies that will transform the inspection process, making it faster, more accurate, and more user-friendly. Embracing cutting-edge technologies would speed up inspections and increase overall customer satisfaction.

However, strict regulatory monitoring is essential to maintaining compliance with industry standards and safety regulations. With the expansion of inspection service providers, modernised regulatory frameworks are required to ensure the integrity and dependability of inspections. Government oversight will be critical in ensuring a level playing field and sustaining industry best practices.

“By liberalising such essential services, the Minister has taken the right step in helping transform the tourism industry and perhaps many others for the better. MATTA has also submitted many proposals over the years to the Ministry designed to ensure our tourism industry remains competitive, and we hope that the Minister will be able to address some of these very shortly,” said MATTA President Nigel Wong.

“In light of this bold move, we are also hoping that the Ministry of Finance and the Royal Malaysian Customs will look into the issue of the high insurance premiums for tourism vehicle operators and the lack of luxury vehicle permits for tourism, which puts us at a disadvantage when positioning Malaysia as a luxury tourism destination,” he added.

*Puspakom, appointed by the government in 1994, undertakes all mandatory inspections of commercial and private vehicles.
Puspakom’s monopoly on commercial vehicle inspection services expires on 31 August 2025. It will continue to offer inspections for 15 years from 1 September 2024 but bids will be opened to allow competing services ending the monopoly.