MALACCA: The two double-decker red tour buses which were brought here from London slightly more than three years ago are no longer plying the tourist belt in the historical city.
Both the buses are out of service for now and Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam had announced recently that one of them would be made a temporary exhibit at the Malacca Transportation Museum in Ayer Keroh while awaiting repairs.
The bus which would be placed temporarily at the museum belongs to the Hang Tuah Jaya Municipal Council (MPHTJ).
The other bus, which is undergoing repairs at a workshop in Sungai Udang, is owned by the Malacca Historical City Council (MBMB). It is expected to resume operations soon.
MPHTJ's bus had been out of service and left idle at the MBMB compound since last September as the replacement parts were costly and difficult to get as they had to be imported from England.
Ali said it was better to make the bus part of the museum's exhibits than to leave it idle while waiting for the spare parts to arrive.
"We have to think carefully about what to do with the bus due to the costs incurred and we have to ensure that we make a pragmatic decision when ordering the replacement parts," Ali said.
The buses, which are also known as the Panorama Bus, were brought to Malacca from London in 2007 at a cost of RM200,000 each to take tourists around historical sites in the city.
The London Bus, as they are known by the locals here, started its services on Aug 14, 2007.
It made 13 stops, including shopping and leisure areas.
The buses are operated by Panorama Malacca Cultural & Tourism Sdn Bhd (PMCT).
The bus owned by MBMB is undergoing repairs at a cost of RM140,000 while the other, owned by MPHTJ, is scheduled to be sent to the workshop soon.
MPHTJ is expected to cough up RM40,000 for the repair of its double-decker bus.
Mayor Zainal Abu confirmed the cost incurred to repair MBMB's bus was RM140,000 as the replacement parts had to be imported.
Meanwhile, MPHTJ president Sapiah Haron confirmed that RM40,000 would be allocated for the repairs on its bus.