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Parliamentary Chair for Transport MP Sitoh supports PAP Govt’s decision to raise ARF for bikes




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Last month in Parliament (1 Mar), MP Sitoh Yih Pin in support of the PAP Govt’s raising of the ARF fee for higher-end motorcycles said:

“The rising number of motorcyclists buying expensive motorcycles is pushing up the overall costs of all motorcycles. The rising trend of COE prices for motorcycles bear this out. COE prices have risen from $889 in January 2010 to $6,412 in February 2017 ‒ a multiple of more than six times in seven years.”

“Owners of smaller motorcycles, who often use their motorcycles as a low-cost mode of transport for work or essential travel, are being made to pay higher COEs because of the increased demand for expensive motorcycles.”

“The revised ARF, therefore, serves this further purpose ‒ to reduce the demand for expensive motorcycles and, consequently, to lower motorcycle COE prices and lower cost for purchasers of smaller motorcycles.”

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Essentially, he was saying that with higher ARF imposed on higher-end motorcycles, people will be put off to buy higher-end motorcycles and therefore, reduce the demand for motorcycle COE leading to lower motorcycle COE prices.

It’s not surprising that MP Sitoh has to sing the with the PAP Govt since he is also a member of PAP.

But motorcycle COE price continue to hit record high – it hit $8,081 on 29 Mar, higher than the previous $7,483. Even yesterday’s price (12 Apr) closed at $7,589. The steep motorcycle premium continues to persist, undeterred by the government intervention.

MP Sitoh, by the way, is the Govt Parliamentary Chairman for Transport.

Two days ago (10 Apr), LTA had to call up 4 major motorcycle dealers for meetings in response to the high motorcycle COE prices.

Industry analysts commented that the higher ARF taxes do not dampen demand, but merely shift demand for high-end bikes to less expensive models.

So, in the interest of transparency and to prevent “group thinking”, wouldn’t it be better to put an opposition MP as Chairman of Parliamentary Committee for Transport?

What do you think?

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