Bus operators plead for loan repayment moratorium to be extended

SEREMBAN, 16 Oct 2020:

Several bus operators here plead for the extension of loan repayment moratorium as they are now facing difficulties to keep their business afloat following the implementation of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) in several states.

Malaysian Chartered Bus Operators Association chairman Mohd Rofik Mohd Yusoff said nearly 90% of bus operators who took loans from credit companies are affected due to the decline in demand.

“Currently, we are facing pressures from credit companies that have been demanding us to repay the loan since the moratorium period ends last August but we are still plagued by financial problems.

“The pandemic has greatly affected our income, making it difficult for us to repay the loan…some of us have had their buses repossessed, were left almost bankrupt and were brought to court for failure to make loan repayment,” he told a press conference here today.

Also present were Pertubuhan Muafakat Pengusaha dan Pemandu Bas Johor chairman R. Thiagarajan, Gabungan Bas Persiaran Zon Utara president Ahmad Ruslan and Pertubuhan Gemilang Agensi Pelancongan dan Pengusaha Bas Malaysia secretary N. Gunaratnam.

If the situation persists, Mohd Rofik said the bus industry in the country would end up getting into a state of paralysis.

“We also plead with the government to provide some additional funds in a form of special grant for bus operators in the country to ensure our survival.”

In KUALA LUMPUR, public transport services in the city recorded a drop of over 30% in daily passenger volume following the enforcement of CMCO in Klang Valley on Tuesday.

Prasarana Malaysia Bhd chairman Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman said the number included Light Rail Transit (LRT), Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), monorail and buses under the company.

The number of daily rail commuters before CMCO averaged 800,000 per day and it had decreased to over 500,000 now, while bus passenger volume was down to around 200,000 users per day.

“The situation is affected by the working from home culture implemented during CMCO and we believe it is only temporary.

“Despite the enforcement of CMCO, Prasarana assures its public transport services will be operating at normal frequency especially during peak hours for the convenience of the public.”

He said Prasarana would ensure cleanliness of its vehicles and stations including steering wheels, escalators, lifts and ticketing machines to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Among the SOPs are providing disinfectant liquid and scanning body temperature besides continuous announcement to remind users to observe physical distancing.

He said Prasarana would also ensure its staff at stations wear masks, rubber gloves when necessary and to check body temperature before starting work. “Only bus captains who passed Covid-19 screening are allowed to drive the bus.”

Tajuddin further said Rapid Bus service also uses Google Map, Moovit, MyRapidBus Kiosk applications to help users plan trips to avoid waiting for too long.

– Bernama