Friday, August 22, 2008

Public Transport Commission Still In Freezer

In my supplementary question to the Minister of Transport in Parliament yesterday, I asked the Minister on the status of the Commission of Pubic Transport (Suruhanjaya Pengangkutan Awam) promised by the Prime Minister in his speech to the parliament on the 26th June 2008. I also asked if the chairmanship of the commission will rightly be given to the Minister of Transport.

In reply, the Minister of Transport announced that no decisions have yet been made on the set up of the Commission.

Needless to say, I'm extremely disappointed with the response, and total lack of urgency by the Government.
  1. The absolute lack of progress, even on the simple act of appointing the chair of the Commission, clearly shows the lack of seriousness and priority placed on public transportation by the Barisan Nasional government. Despite the steep fuel price increases in the past 2 years, and despite promises that the Government will take immediate measures to provide efficient alternative public transport for the people.

  2. Even to my original question of when and how much it'll cost to build the extensions to the existing LRT lines, the Minister announced that they have yet to be established.

  3. Clearly, if the Minister of Transport is not appointed to lead the Commission, then once again the Minister, traditionally held by the President of MCA is marginalised within the Cabinet from responsibilities relating to public transport. It'll only prove that we have a Minister of Transprot which is not in charge of transport in Malaysia. And this brings to question the relevance of MCA in the cabinet led by Prime Minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

  4. If the Ministry of Transport does not lead this Commission, then the consequence will be the creation of another government agency in addition to the existing quagmire of 13 agencies in-charge of public transportation in Malaysia.
It is time that the Government wakes up from its slumber and understand the difficulties and inconvenience suffered by the Malaysian public especially in the urban cities where they suffer from the double whammy of high fuel prices, but no efficient and viable public transportation sytem as an alternative.
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