This article was taken from The Star Malaysia, 30th July 2008
PUTRAJAYA: The Government has agreed to increase stage and express bus fares but has not decided on the quantum.
Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development Minister Datuk Noh Omar said the new fares would be announced before Hari Raya in October.
Noh, however, shot down the Pan Malaysian Bus Operators Associationâ€™s appeal for a 100% fare increase, saying it would be a great burden on the public.
â€œTheir appeal for an increase cannot be refused but a 100% increase means a RM30 fare would be RM60. This is too high,â€ he said, adding that the memorandum from the association was accepted during the National Inflation Council meeting chaired by the Prime Minister on Monday.
Nohsaid the ministry has drawn up a formula on the fare increase, which it now has to discuss with the association.
â€œWe understand their financial problem because prices of diesel, tyre and engine oil have gone up a few times since 2005, while fares have not increased,â€ he told reporters after presenting excellence award to 68 ministry staff here yesterday.
Noh also said that the Government was looking into the operatorsâ€™ other problems, including complaints that they could not sell tickets yet for the Hari Raya season for fear there would not be enough buses.
â€œThey said some buses do not want to operate during the festive season because it is only full for a one-way journey such as Kuala Lumpur to Johor and returns with fewer passengers,â€ he said.
Among ideas the Government was studying to help prevent bus companies from incurring losses, particularly when running services to rural areas, was to issue permits for them to transport school children and factory workers.
He said Mara was incurring losses of about RM3mil per year providing subsidised transport at Felda schemes.
The ministry was also studying the possibility of allowing the 20,000 school bus operators to ferry members of the public after they had sent students to school, to enable them to increase their income, he added.
Association president Datuk AshfarAli, however, insisted that the Government meets its three requests: an increase in diesel quota for both stage and express buses, a 100% fare increase and goodies for the industry in the coming Budget.
What the article failed to mentioned is, the raise will be implemented before the coming Raya. The VVIP freaks out there has confirmed that the raise will be implemented before Raya over national TV last night, TV3’s Bulletin Utama.
Now,Â I have a few things to say about this. Firstly, why approve the raiseÂ before raya and not after raya? So much for taking the public interest into consideration. And they are planning to raise the price by kilometre too. Wouldn’t that be too expensive for the citizens? The main reason why people use public transport for ‘balik kampung’ isÂ because it’s a lot cheaper than driving while some take public transport because they simply do not have a vehicle to call their own.
They raise may not be 100%, as the government assured us, but then again, the raise would be burderning nevertheless. And, how can we be sure that the fare won’t be raised 100%? Our government is so famous for saying one thing and meaning another.
The raise is not only implemented on those ‘bas persiaran’, but also normal buses that stop constantlyto shuffle the people to work and to school and the fare will be raised by kilometre too. This means the lower income and the middle income people are the ones who will be affected the most, not the VVIPs.
While I know that the fare will need to be raised sooner or later, but I shudder to think of the impact it will have on us when they finally raise it. When fuel become expensive, transportation will be made to follow. When transportation become expensive, the rest of the thing we use in our daily lives such as food, etc, will also become expensive too. When everything become expensive, the inflation will become more and more unstoppable?
What can we do to brace the impact of the economic tsunami when the value for our money is plundering and no sign of stopping? Not to mention that we are not earning more as well. Beats me.Â I don’t know what to think anymore.
Cleffairy: This is what we get when our leaders are retarded and do not know how to control the economy well.