Bus operators voicing their concerns through the Pan Malaysia Bus Operators Association recently.
PMLOA Urges Government to Enhance Diesel Subsidy
The Covid-19 pandemic badly impacted Malaysia’s stage and express bus operators, leaving many struggling to stay afloat. Despite various industries receiving incentives and assistance from the government, the bus operators feel neglected and are voicing their concerns through the Pan Malaysia Bus Operators Association (PMBOA).
PMBOA President Datuk Mohamad Ashfar Ali stated in a press statement that many bus operators were operating at a loss, barely covering their expenses. He pleaded with the government to consider allocating funds for salary incentives and diesel subsidies in the 2024 budget. Operators are grappling with losses and some had to halt operations during the pandemic.
He emphasised that the declining income of bus operators placed them in a difficult position, making it challenging to provide competitive wages to drivers. He urged the government to establish a comprehensive training programme for prospective bus and truck drivers, fully covering the expenses associated with obtaining E-class and PSV-class licences. Furthermore, Ashfar recommended the introduction of an extra monthly salary incentive of RM500 for trainees, aimed at the expected driver shortage.
He also called on the government to enhance the diesel subsidy and increase the monthly allotment of subsidised diesel for operators. With diesel currently priced at RM1.88 per litre, PMBOA proposed a reduction to RM1.50 per litre. The existing monthly quotas for express and interim stage buses stand at 2,800 litres and 1,440 litres respectively. The Association suggested elevating these quotas to 6,000 litres for express buses and 4,000 litres for interim stage buses.
Besides that, PMBOA suggested subsidies for terminal and bay charges, tax exemptions, review of support schemes, electric vehicle incentives and public transport awareness campaigns. The Association hopes that the government would heed its pleas and include support for the industry in the 2024 budget.