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Following the recent increase of KTM Komuter and Express Rail Link (ERL) fares, Malaysian Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, has announced that several groups will soon enjoy discounts of up to 50%.

According to The Star, the Prime Minister disclosed that KTM Berhad will slash its fares by 50% for school and university students aged between seven and 18 (in uniform or with a student card). Earlier in a separate report, it was said that the requirement for students to show their student cards or be in uniform to benefit from this discount will be in effect only until January 7, 2016.

After that point, only students with the KTMB Student i-Card would qualify for the 50% discount. To get the card, students would need to fill up a form and have it verified by their schools. An annual fee of RM31.80 would be charged. How this will work for University students has yet to be announced.

For the ERL service, 1Malaysia Students Discount Card (KADS1M) holders, the disabled and senior citizens would get a 30% discount. ERL Putrajaya users would also benefit from a discount, but the amount wasn’t specified.

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Speaking of the recent price hikes, the Prime Minister said, “I know people are angry and because of that, I want to announce that there are several measures which we will take.” He was referring to the recent ERL hike in fares for a one-way trip between KL Sentral and KLIA/KLIA2, and KTM Komuter’s increase from an 11 sen per km rate to 15 sen rate.

Najib also referred to the recent hikes as “steep,” reportedly saying that the long term concession with the YTL-owned company had reached a point where the concessionaire is in a more favourable position than its service users.

Having held off the price hikes for some 14 years now, it was said that should the Prime Minister prevent the concessionaire from affecting the public with its recent price hikes, the government would have to pay up to RM2.9 billion in compensation. He added, “we can renegotiate, but that means we have to extend (the deal) by another 30 years because the agreement has been signed.”

The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) echoed the Prime Minister’s sentiments. Its chief executive, Mohd Azharuddin Mat Sah told The Star that, “the public pressure is obviously very clear, and the Prime Minister is listening to the views of the public. Next week, we’re picking up discussions with ERL and KTM.”