PUTRAJAYA (Bernama): The government has agreed to provide a one-off aid of RM500 to 6,600 express bus drivers nationwide, says Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.
He said RM3.3mil has been allocated for the one-off assistance under the Strategic Programme to Empower the People and Economy (PEMERKASA Plus).
"To qualify for the aid, the individual or express bus driver must be a Malaysian citizen, registered as an employee with an express bus company and still contributing to the Social Security Organisation (Socso).
"Those who have already received the special assistance for school bus, tour bus, taxis or e-hailing drivers are no longer eligible as the aid is specially for express bus drivers,” Dr Wee said in a statement Friday (Sept 24).
Another condition is that the individual or express bus driver must hold a valid Vocational Licence taking into account the licence renewal exemption period that has been granted by the Transport Ministry (MOT) throughout 2021.
He said only express bus companies or operators with valid licences or permits from the Land Public Transport Agency (Apad) or the Sabah and Sarawak Commercial Vehicle Licencing Board (CVLB) were eligible to apply for the assistance.
Dr Wee said the express bus companies or operators were required to submit the full details of the individuals or express bus drivers under their employment to Apad, Sabah or Sarawak CVLB in order to determine their eligibility and distribute the funds.
The express bus companies or operators can now contact the nearest Apad or Sabah and CVLB offices for the provision of the assistance, he said, adding that the aid would be distributed as soon as the funds reached the MOT and the relevant implementing agencies.
"Hopefully, the aid will be able to ease the burden of express bus drivers during this difficult time amid the Covid-19 pandemic and they will be back at work when the situation improves,” he said.
Dr Wee added that the MOT would in collaboration with the National Security Council (NSC), other authorities and bus operator associations, look into steps and guidelines to help bus operators in preparing for normal service.
He said guidelines on safe operating procedures would be developed to help express bus operators provide the best service possible, once interstate restrictions are lifted, and domestic tourism activities are allowed under the National Recovery Plan (NRP). - Bernama