GEORGE TOWN, June 11 — Express bus and school bus operators should not raise fares following the implementation of targeted diesel subsidy in the peninsula, Transport Minister Anthony Loke said.

He said this is because the diesel subsidy continues to be given to these bus operators through subsidised diesel fleet cards under the Subsidised Diesel Control System (SKDS).

“They should not raise their bus fares.

“They are not affected by the increase in the diesel price because school bus and express bus operators are still receiving subsidies. So what reason do they have to raise the fares?” he told a press conference after officiating the 57th Asean Senior Transport Officials Meeting (STOM), here today.

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Loke said this in response to the rumours about the possible increase in the fares of school, express and tour buses following the implementation of targeted diesel subsidy which saw diesel price increase of more than 50 per cent, starting Monday.

Loke said for express buses, the fares cannot be increased arbitrarily because they are under the purview of the Land Public Transport Agency (APAD).

“As for school buses, we don’t control the price, we just encourage discussions between school bus operators and Parent-Teacher Associations (PTAs),” he said.

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On the possible increase in the fares for tour buses, Loke said there is no subsidy for the tourism sector, as the buses are for tourism purposes and not for daily use.

“Maybe there will be a little increase in the cost for the tourists, but I think it is acceptable for them,” he said.

Meanwhile, Loke said he was ready to give a specific briefing to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad after the latter questioned the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System Link (RTS Link) project and claimed that there was not much being revealed about the project despite “concrete pylons rising across the Straits of Johor”.

Loke said that he respects Tun Mahathir as the country’s statesman but “to say that there was no revelation about RTS is wrong.

“If Tun wants complete information, I am ready to give him a special briefing,” he said. — Bernama