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Malay Peninsular Malaysia Express Bus Entrepreneurs Association (Pembawa) acting chairman Tajudin Mohamad Yunus (front 2nd from right), said express bus operators were burdened with losses of between RM10,000 and RM20,000 monthly. Pic by NSTP/MOHD YUSNI ARIFFIN

KUALA LUMPUR: Express bus companies are hoping that the government will approve their request to raise fares by at least 30 per cent during the Hari Raya Aidilfitri holiday period.

They claim that they have been shouldering losses as current bus fares are based on rates established 11 years ago.

Malay Peninsular Malaysia Express Bus Entrepreneurs Association (Pembawa) acting chairman Tajudin Mohamad Yunus said express bus operators were burdened with losses of between RM10,000 and RM20,000 monthly.

“The fares are based on expense charts drawn up in 2008.

“Since then, much has changed and the prices of many things and services have increased, except our bus fares.”

He said some companies had even had their buses repossessed after failing to service their loan instalments.

“This does not include other expenditures which have also increased,” he told a press conference after holding an extraordinary annual general meeting at a hotel here today.

“For instance, fuel prices have gone up by more 50 per cent in recent years.

“We are aware that our services are public-oriented, but it has to be realistic in line with the economy and expenditures of today.

“We don’t wish to burden any quarters but just hope that express bus operators will be given due consideration in this matter.”

A total of 18 express bus operators, including Cepat Express, Edaran Express, Konsortium Eltabina, Maharani, Cekap and Sani Express, concurred with Tajudin.

He added that the association had sent a letter of appeal to Transport Minister Anthony Loke to request for a reasonable hike in bus fares but had yet to receive a reply.

“We are still waiting for a decision from the ministry.

“If you look at past years, you would notice that many bus companies have recorded losses on an annual basis, to the extent that some have had to terminate drivers.”

He said the situation had worsened with the recent minimum wage announcement.

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