Sarawakian bus companies sign on to receive subsidies from fed govt

Razami (right) at the signing ceremony, while Tseu looks on. Photo by Roystein Emmor

KUCHING: Eleven bus companies in Sarawak have signed a two-year agreement with the federal government enabling them to receive subsidy payments through the Interim Stage Bus Support Fund (ISBSF).

The eleven companies are Petra Jaya Transport, Biaramas Express, Bau Transport Company, City Public Link Bus Services, Lanang Road Bus Company, Rejang Transport, Sungei Merah Bus, Teku Road Bus Company, Miri Transport Company, Miri City Bus and Miri Belait Transport Company.

According to Commercial Vehicles Licencing Board (LPKP) Sarawak director Razami Mohamad Jamali, the amount that each company will receive depends on the documents they submit – a necessary procedure to get their payments.

“It is a form of subsidy. If they want to claim, they need to submit documents to validate their application for the payment. How much they get will be based on things like their operations and maintenance costs. The amount is not fixed.

“Our role at LPKP is to get the documents from the companies and make calculations using a formula that was used by Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) previously, while the payments are done by the Ministry of Transport,” he told reporters after the agreement signing ceremony today.

The federal government has allocated RM5.6 million for Sarawak this year under ISBSF.

Earlier, when briefing representatives from the bus companies, Razami said that the funds for Sarawak stage bus operators was delayed because there was no agreement, as required by the ministry.

He also reminded the companies to provide all relevant documents within the stipulated timeframe and to ensure that all information submitted was accurate in order to avoid any delay in payment.

The documents include photo evidence of odometers, ticket records, as well as receipts relating to direct operational costs and maintenance costs.

Also present at the ceremony was LPKP Sarawak chairman Dr Lawrence Tseu.

ISBSF was established to improve the quality of stage bus services. It acts as an interim measure to cover the shortfalls in daily operations of affected stage bus operators, and to ensure the continuity of the bus services.

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