Bus drivers and operators affected by MCO seek help

Sairi says this is his worst experience in the 15 years working as a bus driver.

ISKANDAR PUTERI: Bus drivers in Johor are seeking financial help from the government as they have been unable to work during the movement control order (MCO).

Since the MCO was imposed on March 18, many bus drivers and operators have seen a big drop in income due to schools being closed and tourism industry shut down.

A total of 300 school bus operators registered with the Land Public Transport Agency (SPAD) as well as 180 tour bus companies in Johor are affected.

One of them is schoolbus driver Chey Boon Chen, 41, who has been driving for 18 years.

He said he used to make about RM8,000 a month as a bus driver but was without an income now.

“I need money to repair my bus, feed my family and pay bills,” he said.

Sairi Sahrin, 65, said this was his worst experience in the 15 years he has been a bus driver.

Thiagarajan says the Covid-19 pandemic has badly affected many bus drivers and operators.Thiagarajan says the Covid-19 pandemic has badly affected many bus drivers and operators.

“Never before have bus drivers experienced such a situation. We are earning absolutely nothing daily and we still have expenses to pay for,” he said.

G. Nagaresan, 32, who works for a bus company, said although he did not have to pay for the bus he drove, he still needed money to support his family.

“I need money for food, house rent and other expenses,” he said, adding that he was paid based on trips and used to earn RM2,500 a month.

The group has collected some 300 signatures from drivers and operators of school buses, tourism buses and factory worker buses.

Apart for financial assistance, they are also seeking some leniency in terms of loan repayments.

R. Thiagarajan, 36, who represented the group, said the pandemic had affected many bus drivers and operators in the state badly.

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