KUALA TERENGGANU: Do not stop the “architectural” buses from operating, former Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh has told the state government.
In an SMS sent to The Star, Idris appealed to the state government to refrain from halting the service using buses with kampung house designs, but instead to review the system including the inter-district express bus service.
He also said the issue of non-issuance of permits by the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board due to safety concerns can be resolved with cooperation from the Road Transport Department.
“The custom-fabricated buses were meant to ferry passengers for free; we had no intention of charging any fares from day one. As a caring state government we were determined to institute an efficient public transport system here,” he said.
Yesterday, it was reported that the state government had spent RM3.4mil to acquire eight custom-fabricated imported buses with the intention of charging a 50-sen fare. However, the investment had turned into a temporary liability due to “technical glitches”, resulting in four buses lying idle in storage and another four giving free city rides.
The city and inter-district express bus service was the brainchild of Idris when he held office.
A subsidiary company known as Cas Ligas Sdn Bhd was formed by the state government in August last year to oversee the operation of the bus services.
For the inter-district express bus service, the state government had acquired 20 buses with global positioning systems at a cost of RM8.3mil to serve the routes from Kuala Terengganu to Kemaman, Dungun, Besut and Setiu.
The express bus service was supposed to make its debut early this month, but Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said had announced on Sept 23 that the state government had decided to shelve the service after it was found to be not viable.