Govt looking to assist school bus operators struggling under MCO

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 23 Apr 2020

PETALING JAYA: The government is looking at ways to help school bus operators facing difficulties following the imposition of the movement control order (MCO), says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

The Transport Minister said he understood that the income of about 14,000 school bus drivers in the country had been affected.

He said they were caught in a bind on whether to ask parents to pay the monthly fees with schools having been closed for weeks with the MCO in force.

"They know it isn't fair to charge parents when schools are closed, even if they have been allowed since 2015 to discuss such matters with parents," he added.

However, Dr Wee said many school bus operators might have taken business loans from cooperatives and would therefore not be eligible for a moratorium on their loans as announced by the government in its COvid-19 stimulus package.

He said the Transport and Finance Ministries were discussing ways to get school bus operators recognised as an informal microbusiness and to develop a scheme that could help them get through these tough times.

He also said the transportation sector would need to get used to operating under the "new normal" after the MCO was lifted.

It could affect flights and even public transport operations as the government planned to continue measures to lessen the transmission of Covid-19, he explained.

"When people return to using public transport again to go back to work after the MCO, I'm sure there will be new rules released by the Health Ministry that we need to abide by, and I foresee it to be a big challenge," he said.

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