Bus manufacturers urged to explore market in Sabah and Sarawak
02 Mar 2023
Bus manufacturers and suppliers are encouraged to explore market opportunities in Sabah and Sarawak to enable express bus operators in the states involved to upgrade their vehicles for the comfort and safety of the people.
Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook said the potential of the express bus market in both states is good, and bus manufacturers and suppliers should not only focus their business on the peninsular part of the country.
“I hope manufacturers and suppliers can market their products to entrepreneurs in Sabah and Sarawak, and of course when those entrepreneurs are ready to invest, they can discuss with various governments to facilitate financing,” he told the media here on Thursday.
Earlier, Loke attended the introduction ceremony of the new Volvo B11RLE 6×2 double-decker bus which was completely built in this country for the bus market in Malaysia.
“The people of Sabah and Sarawak have said in the peninsula that there are various public transport modes introduced as well as newer buses.
“I want to explain that express buses are not bought by the government and the government does not own any bus company. The government is only involved in the operation of stage buses in the city and we do encourage company operators to always upgrade their buses for the comfort and safety of passengers,” he said.
According to him, various financial institutions, banks and government funds can be requested by bus operator companies to invest in getting new buses.
“If these bus operators are not exposed (by the bus manufacturing company) to what is the latest in the market, they will not know,” he said.
On the issue of the lack of bus drivers, Loke said last week during a meeting with a bus operator association, he asked them to get information from all association members to identify which areas are facing the problem.
According to him, the driver shortage issue is also faced by truck transport, especially when the country was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and many of their drivers changed their careers to the e-hailing industry and some migrated to work in Singapore due to the offer of higher wages.
“We want them to collect the information on how many drivers the bus operators need, where and in which state and if we have that information we can help them by holding a job fair specifically for the transport industry in certain areas,” he said.