SEPANGGAR July 04, 2012: A purported limit imposed by Cement Industry Sdn Bhd (CIS) has upset lorry drivers statewide, some of whom have been made to wait for nearly a week outside its premises for supply.
"Before we only had to wait two to three hours," said 45-year-old Voo Chung Phew, when met, Tuesday.
Voo, a lorry driver from Keningau for more than 10 years, said: "There are more than 150 lorries from various companies statewide parked along the road outside the premises. Some have been waiting here for nearly a week."
According to Voo, their problem arose when CIS started to impose a maximum quota of 3,000 tonnes per day since two weeks ago.
"A total of 1,200 tonnes quota is given for lorries which transport cement packed in 50kg bags, while the remaining 1,800 tonnes are for lorry tankers," he said.
"Now we have only until 5pm to collect the stock, usually it would be open until 11pm.
Thus the reason why there are a lot of us waiting here," he said, adding many were forced to sleep in their lorries.
Fellow lorry driver, Ripin Biding, 49, from Sepanggar, echoed Voo's views.
"We have been receiving complaints from our customers because of the late cement delivery, but what to doÉwe have no choice but to wait for our turn," he said.
"I hope something would be done about this soon. I also have a family to go home to," he said, adding he has been waiting for nearly three days.
Meanwhile, DAP Sabah again called on the Government to allow other companies to supply cement to overcome shortages and ensure no slowdown in the State's construction industry.
"As far as we are concerned CIS, as a government-linked company, has failed," he said.
DAP Sabah reminded that a monopolistic business is not conducive.
"The cement supply and shipping cabotage policy are examples of monopolistic businesses and they are causing delays, hardship and price increase.
"At the end of the day, the consumers suffer. The company does not care as it is unaffected.
With competition in the market this situation will be different. Competition in business brings about efficiency in service and supply," he said, adding it usually leads to lowering of price, which benefits the consumers.