Labuan Bus Operators Appeal For Pemerkasa Plus Aid

LABUAN: Bus drivers here are appealing to the government to give them the RM500 one-off payment announced for taxi drivers and e-hailing operators under the PEMERKASA Plus aid programme.

Labuan Bus Association chairman Asmadi Ahmad said the 155 bus operators on the island, who have been operating for over two decades, did not benefit from the government’s cash aid although they had been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

ASMADI AHMAD

“We have not received the Bantuan Khas APAD 1.0, Bantuan Permai 2.0 and now the PEMERKASA 3.0 although we too are providing public transport and our income has been badly hit the COVID-19 movement restrictions,” he told Bernama today.

He said they had sent an appeal letter to Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong on Feb 14 regarding their plight but there had been no reply.

The government has allocated RM68 million for the PEMERKASA 3.0 cash aid programme announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on May 31.

Wee said the RM500 cash aid will be distributed beginning July, benefiting 134,000 people in the industry, including drivers of taxis, e-hailing cars, hired cars, and school and tour buses.

“We too are doing small business to make ends meet and should be eligible for the relief fund.

“Since the first movement control order (MCO) last year, we have been driving down to town every day but most of the time our buses are empty,” Asmadi said.

Asmadi hoped the ministry would consider their appeal favourably so that they can continue providing public transport on the island.