KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 18 — A proposal by school bus operators that the government extend the service lifespan of school buses to 35 years needs to be fine-tuned based on overall safety factors as it involves students, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong said.
He said a study by the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros) on whether it could be implemented would take those factors into account.
“I urge the Land Public Transport Agency (APAD) to present a study by Miros because it involves the safety of vehicle use and most importantly, I cannot compromise the safety of students because they are the ones riding school buses.
“I need to consider what conditions need to be set and the rationale for the conditions. APAD will abide by the policy decision that will be made by the Transport Ministry on this matter based on the report issued by Miros later,” he said at a press conference following the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Bumiputera School Bus Operators Association’s 29th Annual General Meeting today.
Wee said the government currently allowed extending the permitted service lifespan of school buses to 32 years on top of allowing the licence renewal of school buses of over 30 years because of the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Renewal of school bus licences are allowed in line with approval to extend the service lifespan of the vehicle,” he added.
Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Bumiputera School Bus Operators Association president Amali Munif Rahmat had brought the matter up earlier as school bus operators were also affected throughout the enforcement of the movement control order (MCO).
On Amali’s proposal for a government soft loan fund as well as interest-free loans through government agencies such as Mara and Tekun for the scheme to replace school bus over 20 years old, Wee said his office would fine-tune and discuss the matter with the Finance Ministry. — Bernama