School bus fares to rise due to GST, federation says

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 28 ― School bus fares are set to increase in 2016 from cost pressures as a result of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), said the Federation of Malaysian School Bus Operators Association.

Its president, Amali Munif Rahmat, said the consumption tax has caused operational and maintenance costs to increase across the board.

“Even something as small as a screw, which a bus needs a lot of, is not being spared by GST, what more the entire operation cost,” he said in an interview with English daily the New Straits Times today.

Amali did not state, however, the quantum of increase that should be expected, saying that this was at the discretion of each bus operator.

He said all parties involved should negotiate the increase jointly to arrive at an acceptable rise.

Amali said that parents currently pay about RM100 monthly, with air-conditioned buses costing more, but also noted that the new price would take into consideration the economic factors of each neighbourhood.

“School bus fares differ, just like your telecommunication packages. If you want bigger and better services, you have to pay more,” he said.

In April this year, Putrajaya replaced the Sales and Services Tax (SST) with the broad-based consumption tax GST at 6 per cent.

Malay Mail Online reported previously that five months after its implementation, families were cutting costs as prices of most goods have increased as a result.

Malaysians have also been hit by a series of transportation-related increases over the year, ranging from higher fares for taxis, trains and busses to higher intercity highway tolls in the Klang Valley. -MMO.