KUALA LUMPUR: All buses in the country may be subjected to the Safety Star Grading (SSG) programme in a bid to improve safety and efficiency.
Transport Minister Anthony Loke said the programme, which is being carried out on a voluntary basis, has been effective so far.
"As the programme is (currently) conducted on a voluntary basis, the low number of participants is not surprising.
"If we can make it compulsory which we are seriously considering, it could give a sense of competition for bus operators to improve their services and safety standards.
"When their services are good and the public are satisfied, the operators may have a good argument to ask for a fare hike," he told a news conference after visiting the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros) in Kajang Thursday (July 19).
He said the programme was beneficial as it gives confidence to the public.
"More stars mean better services, including better safety and efficiency," he said.
Loke said to date, only 20 bus operators had participated in the programme which was introduced by Miros in 2013.
The SSG programme accords a star rating based on the level of safety compliance by bus operators.
Loke said there are more than 36,000 permits issued for various types of buses.