KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - School buses operating without Puspakom's clearance are like "time bombs waiting to explode".
Parent-Teacher Association of Malaysia president Associate Prof Datuk Muhammad Ali Hasan said the high percentage of school buses that had failed to turn up for inspections last year was worrying.
He said this should be addressed immediately.
"If these buses did not go for checks, that means there must be something wrong with them.
"The buses must be in poor condition or did not adhere to specifications. If so, the operators are putting the lives of children and other road users at stake."
Ali said the authorities should take action, including slapping the operators with compounds or barring them from providing the service.
"The authorities, including Puspakom, Road Transport Department and police need to take immediate action against these culprits.
"By not adhering to the law and continuing to operate without following the specifications, these buses are a danger to students.
"I would also like to urge the school authorities, PTAs, parents and guardians to work with the authorities to solve this matter.
"They should conduct spot checks on the operators and see whether they are adhering to the law.
"If they find bus operators providing services illegally, they should stop engaging their services and lodge a report with the authorities."
Ali said the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board also should call for a meeting to solve the problem immediately.
Pan Malaysian Bus Operators Association president Datuk Ashfar Ali said the probability of buses operating without Puspakom's permit was low.
"I think the bus operators might have discontinued their operations, as it is almost impossible for them to provide services without being detected by the authorities.
"This is because all public buses are required to display the Puspakom's permit beside their road tax on the windscreen.
"If they are operating without one, the authorities would spot them and seize their vehicles."
He said bus operators who continued their service without a permit were taking a big risk.
"If they failed to go for one of the biannual inspections, they would still need to go for the next one to renew their road tax.
"And when they do so, they will face the consequences. The offence is serious.
"I do not think a genuine operator would take the risk. There must be a reason the buses were not sent for inspection last year."
-- New Straits Times