PETALING JAYA: Bus operators have called for the government to pay for the training of bus drivers from the B40 lower-income group, in view of a driver shortage.
Ashfar Ali, president of the Pan Malaysian Bus Operators Association, proposed that the scheme be included in the 2024 federal budget expected to be tabled in Parliament on Oct 13.
“We propose a new scheme offering free training to potential bus or lorry drivers from the B40 group who are 21 years old or older.
“Under this scheme, the government will cover the total cost of RM3,000 for obtaining both the Class E licence and the public service vehicle licence,” said Ashfar.
In view of the calls to promote advanced green technology, he proposed that financial incentives be provided for the purchase of electric bus vehicles, components, and related infrastructure.
Cabbies left out of aid scheme
Taxi operators have called for measures to streamline taxi services and ensure they have a place in future transport blueprints, given the rise of e-hailing services..
Kamarudin Hussain, president of Gabungan Teksi SeMalaysia, said: “The transport ministry’s failure to solve the problem between us and e-hailing operators has left us still unable to stand on our own two feet.
“We are struggling due to the rising cost of goods, despite being able to work and secure passengers.”
He called for the government aid scheme Geran Khas Prihatin to remove the requirement of registration with the Companies Commission of Malaysia.
He said nearly 20,000 taxi drivers were left at a disadvantage because of the requirement.
“It’s not right for support to be tied to company registration since not every taxi driver has one,” he said.
He urged the government to base the aid on the possession of a taxi driver’s card, which he said was a more precise reference.