Miri school van drivers in limbo after three months of zero income

Lang Nuga

By Jaythaleela K

MIRI, June 14: School van drivers in Miri Division are hoping for an end to their desperate plight after three months of not earning any income since the Movement Control Order (MCO) was imposed on March 18 nationwide to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Miri city has a total of 60 licensed school van drivers, and they have earned zero income since schools were ordered to close during the MCO and continued to stay closed under the Condition MCO (CMCO).

On June 10, the government announced that Form 5 and Form 6 classes will resume starting June 24, while home-based learning will continue for other classes in the meantime.

“Since March 18, we have had no income, as the schools are closed. We have no students for us to transport,” said Lang Nuga, who offers school van services in the Tudan and Senadin areas, sending students to and from SMK Pujut/Senadin and SMK Merbau.

Prior to the MCO, he was hired to transport eight secondary school students at a fixed rate of RM70 per head.

Facing similar difficulties are four female school van drivers, Rose, Dayang Marot Yacob, Fatimah and Law Kia Lan who also said they are unsure what to do next to keep their livelihoods afloat.

Nasir Abdul Rahim

Meanwhile, the secretary of a Miri City school van driver association Nasir Abdul Rahim urged the government to allow them to also operate during school holidays.

“We hope that our scope is not only confined to school hours, so that our licensed school drivers have the opportunity to seek extra income,” he said. — DayakDaily