Sunday, August 7

‘Van sapu’ a bane of schoolbus operators, says association

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Doris (seated, centre) and her committee for the 2017-2019 term.

BINTULU: The increased presence of ‘kereta sapu’ (unlicensed passenger vehicles) has adversely affected bus operations here, including the schoolbus service.

According to School Bus Owners Association of Bintulu chairperson Doris Daha Bujang, the high number of these vehicles, which include both cars and vans, also poses danger to schoolchildren here especially the smaller ones.

“Bintulu is no exception. It’s very unfortunate that two public bus companies here have gone bankrupt. This is very sad because public transportation service is indispensable to the people in many towns and villages.

“In the case of ‘kereta sapu’, there are just too many here. As a result, our schoolbuses cannot send and fetch children from schools at the designated areas. Even more worrying is that the children have to make their way in between cars to cross the street – which is very dangerous,” she pointed out in her remarks after the association’s annual general meeting (AGM) on Saturday.

In this regard, Doris hoped that the relevant agencies would assist local schoolbus operators to enable them to be more competitive in providing quality services.

The AGM on Saturday also announced the line-up of the association for the 2017-2019 term.

Doris, who was re-elected, is assisted by Wong Siew Eng and Helena Aju Jusi as respective vice-chairpersons I and II, Samin Lau as secretary, Tiong Ching Ling as treasurer, and Mingat Ludan as overseer.

The respective assistant secretary, assistant treasurer and assistant overseer are Wong Choon Chei, Roseline Sinong Jemat and Robika Lubuk, while the new committee members are Elizabeth Baih Beritin, Agnes Nari Lutong, Gloria Nor, Evelyn Banin Kusau, Entali Empin, Yii Toh Kwong and Yu Poh Ting.

Sitimah Othman serves as the internal auditor.

On her re-appointment, Doris expressed her gratitude to all members for their undivided support to the association, especially their involvement in its activities.

“Although we have limited financial resources, we still need to support – and in return, receive the support from – our members,” she said.

Adding on, Doris reminded all association members to put reflective stickers on their schoolbuses and schoolvans ahead of the enforcement effective this July 1.

“These reflective stickers are available at the Puspakom (Computerised Vehicle Inspection Centre) counter. These stickers serve to make your vehicles more visible and also as hazard warnings. The objectives behind the move to enforce the usage of these stickers are to enhance road safety and reduce accidents,” she said, pointing out that each set of reflective stickers is priced between RM80 and RM110.