With prices of school supplies such as uniforms and stationaries already on the rise, parents may have to spend even more as school bus fares are likely to go up from next month.
Speaking to The Sun, Federation of Malaysian School Bus Operators Associations president Amali Munif Rahmat said a number of school bus operators have indicated their intention to increase fares to cope with the rising cost of operation.
“The implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the depreciation of our ringgit have been attributed for the increase. Even a piece of screw at 50 sen is charged GST. The problem is that they can’t claim taxes paid from the Customs as these companies barely reach half a million ringgit sales, as required by the government if they intend to claim,” Amali said.
The Land Public Transport Commission’s (SPAD) decision to deregulate the fares from January this year had allowed the school bus operators to set their own fares. However, Amali claimed that some companies had chosen to maintain their fares for this year despite not making enough money.
He added that fares will vary depending on the status of the residents, their demands, and the distance to the respective schools. “Some would want their children to only board air-conditioned school buses. This would obviously cost more than others,” he said.
In addition, the school bus operators are also warned not to come to an agreement with each other on the rising fares.
“They should not conspire with each other or come to an agreement to increase their fares together as it should be done individually. Otherwise, it would go against Section 4 of the Competition Act 2010, which prohibits deals between enterprises,” he explained.