KUALA LUMPUR: "What is the big deal. If our vehicles fail the test, they are off the roads."
This was the response of Federation of Malaysia School Bus Drivers Association president Chee Ay Tay to the concerns expressed by Puspakom on the road worthiness of schoolbuses.
Chee said that drivers whose buses fail the test do not take children to school until they receive the green light from Puspakom.
"So what are they talking about? Are they mad to think we will transport children in unfit buses?"
He said their 16,000 members were aware of road safety rules and "have never protested if they were given the red card for poor maintenance of vehicles".
He denied claims by Puspakom's chief executive officer Khairudin Yusoff of irresponsible bus drivers who do not maintain their vehicles.
Chee said the wear and tear rate of the vehicles was high and regular maintenance was carried out by the drivers.
"We usually spend about RM200 to RM300 to maintain our vehicles before going for the test. We also want to earn money," he said.
Vehicles that did not pass Puspakom's test were not allowed on the road and the road tax would not be renewed, he said.
He feels that Puspakom was picking on them for petty matters and should instead go for larger issues such as the quality and design of the bus.
He said in some cases the design of the bus might not meet the road safety rules.
"When Puspakom looks into such matters then we will feel it is serious about upgrading road safety.
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