MELAKA April 11 — DRB-HICOM is confident that its postal service subsidiary Pos Malaysia will be back in the black once the government approves a postal tariff increase on stamps.
The conglomerate’s group managing director Datuk Seri Syed Faisal Albar told reporters during a media escapade yesterday that stamps cost 30 sen between 1992 and 2010 when the Postal Department was corporatised as Pos Malaysia in 1992.
The price of domestic stamps rose to 60 sen in 2010 and has been unchanged since.
“Since 1992 when it was Jabatan Pos and corporatised into Pos Malaysia, the price of stamps was 30 sen until 2010. Then only did it increase.
“If you are a highway operator, you cannot survive. Any business also can’t survive, 18 years no increase in revenue. Can you survive with salary the same since 1992? So, after 2010, it was supposed to be small increase every three years.
“It has been nearly 10 years (without increment) but even though mail volume down, the regulation by the ministry says we must keep a post office if there’s a certain number of population. For example, for every 25,000 people there must be a post office,” said Syed Faisal.
He explained that this incurs cost to the company as they have to pay postmen as well as daily operational costs. He added that any deliveries to Sabah and Sarawak required the items or mail to be flown over, especially if it was an urgent document such as university offer letters.
Syed Faisal also pointed out that every new development will incur cost on Pos Malaysia, including commercial lots and office towers.
Each new address requires more postmen to be employed despite postal mail businesses dying out.
In February, Pos Malaysia reported its second quarterly loss in 10 years recording a RM13.02 million net loss in the third quarter ended December 31, 2018 (3QFY19), due to lower revenue contribution from the international and logistics segments.
Revenue for the three months decreased 6.36 per cent year-on-year (YoY) to RM581.24 million.
However, Syed Faisal was confident that e-commerce and the resulting courier service boom to be a strong contributor to Pos Malaysia.
“E-commerce have grown, we were not sure before and growth has been exponential. And because of attraction of the growth, many new players come about. So this is where Pos Laju needs to be careful and step up its game all the time,” he said.
Touching on increasing the company’s cost efficiency, some of the innovations that Pos Malaysia has come up with include Pos Mobile where a postal vehicle goes from one rural area to another on a rotational basis to avoid fixed operational costs.
It has also developed community post boxes for far flung communities particularly in the deeper regions of Sabah and Sarawak.
Some of these post boxes are found just before the jetty and the mailman will drop letters to the community there instead of heading into the deep, rural areas.