Bus operators claim they lost thousands of ringgit to 'strike'

Bus operators claim they lost thousands of ringgit to 'strike'

JOHOR BARU - The blockade has drawn the ire of many factory bus operators here who complained that the four-hour traffic standstill has caused them losses running into thousands of ringgit.

Transport company owner and labour supplier N. Jagathisan, whose 200 factory workers were stranded, claimed that he lost about RM15,000 (S$5,820).

"I have to fork out money to buy food and pay these workers their wages for the day. All these toll charges can be negotiated and passed on to the factories in Singapore.

"The factories can easily absorb the monthly S$500 that we are expected to incur with the new toll, instead of them losing millions if the workers don't turn up for work," he said.

The toll rates at the CIQ are RM9.70 and RM6.80 for in-bound and out-bound cars respectively.

Jagathisan said he felt that the Government should make it toll free for all types of buses plying the Causeway, adding that steps should be taken to prevent similar incidents from recurring.

Chen Ee Teong, 70, who owns several factory buses plying into Singapore, claimed the new toll was too high.

"It is difficult for factory bus drivers as they drive up and down the Causeway several times a day to pick up and drop off workers," he said, adding that the drivers wanted to highlight their plight.

Federation of School Bus Associa­tion of Malaysia deputy president Wu Chee Leong said the blockade had inconvenienced thousands of students who go to Singapore schools.

"I pity the students who have to walk across the Causeway," he said, adding that it was still too early to say if bus fares would be increased for the 10,000 students commuting daily.

Describing the action by these drivers as "unreasonable", Land Public Transport Commission chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar said it would investigate if they had breached regulations under the Land Public Transport Act.

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