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School bus fares in peninsula won’t go up, group assures parents after govt rolls out targeted diesel plan

Publish date: Sun, 16 Jun 2024, 11:02 AM

KUALA LUMPUR, June 16 — A coalition of school bus operators has promised not to raise fares in peninsular Malaysia after the government dismantled a blanket subsidy for diesel last week, Mingguan Malaysia reported today.

The Sunday edition of Utusan Malaysia cited Gabungan Persatuan Pengusaha Bas Sekolah Malaysia president Mohd Rofik Mohd Yusoff as saying that school bus companies are one of several key businesses that still receive subsidies under the government’s new targeted subsidy scheme, but could not guarantee that all operators would not raise fares.

“We promise there will be no increase in bus fares for parents because we still get subsidies. So no issue actually.

“But I am not discounting the possibility that some operators that are not registered members or with the Land Public Transport Agency (Apad) may raise the fares,” he was quoted as saying.

School bus fares in Malaysia are regulated.

Any increment must first get government approval under an agreement between operators and parents that is meant to keep the crucial service affordable, especially for low-income households.

School bus fees were expected to be raised between 10 and 20 per cent with the new school term, The Star reported on March 4 due to a lack of manpower and an increase in maintenance costs that included imported spare parts, citing the Federation of Malaysian School Bus Operators Association president Amali Munif Rahmat.

Another local daily Kosmo! reported the possibility of another hike in school bus fees on June 10, hours after the government rolled out its targeted diesel subsidy scheme that aimed to prevent the wealthy and foreigners from benefiting from Malaysia’s relatively cheap diesel prices.

School bus operators will still pay RM1.88 for diesel per litre, over 60 per cent cheaper than the new retail price at RM3.35 a litre, up from RM2.15 previously.

Other businesses in public transportation like local buses, express buses, ambulances, firefighters and hearses will enjoy the government’s targeted subsidies under the Subsidised Diesel Control System.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has warned industries that receive subsidies not to raise prices, pledging stern action if these companies attempt to profit off the policy.

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