Thursday, February 19, 2009

Promised LRT Extensions Delayed

Charts courtesy of The Malay Mail

Another broken promise by the Barisan Nasional government. Only Malay Mail published the story on the delay to the promised extension to the Kelana Jaya LRT line to Subang Jaya.
The trains Klang Valley commuters have been waiting for to alleviate their misery will be delayed — yet again.

Word from transport industry sources is that planned additional lines and stations for the light rail train (LRT) network is now projected to be ready only in 2013 — three years later than originally planned.
To our Minister of Transport, Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat, how come no announcement? What has happened to all which have been promised in the Budget 2009 for public transportation? What happened to the RM35 billion public transportation fund, and the Public Transport Commission promised by the Prime Minister himself?

Below is a letter from Moaz Ahmad from the Association For The Improvement Of Mass Transit’ (TRANSIT) on the issue.
LRT delay to 2013 (at least) is not a surprise

The quiet announcement of the delay of the opening of the LRT extension to at least 2013 probably did not come as a surprise to many Malaysians. After all, the LRT extensions have been promised, promised, and promised again. Malaysians keep on believing these promises hoping that things are going to happen because of the confident announcements coming from the cabinet and the Prime Minister's office.

One has to wonder if the recent switch of the Defense and Finance portfolios may have something to do with the delays. When Dato' Seri Abdullah became Prime Minister he reviewed many of the projects initiated by Tun Dr. Mahathir and shelved some of them (such as the double tracking and electrification). Would it be much of a surprise if Dato Seri Najib want to do a similar review?

There are also many mixed messages and "behind-the-scenes" events that make it clear that Prasarana, the National Infrastructure Company, will not be able to complete the LRT until 2013 (if not later). Prasarana's former CEO, Shaipudin Shah Hasan, resigned suddenly on September 19, 2008 - the day after attending the National Summit on Urban Public Transport and talking about plans for the extensions of the LRT. The Finance Ministry has announced that there is a plan to integrate Prasarana and RapidKL into a single company - but the Land Public Transport Commission may change things even more after it is created. On the ground, it has been reported that contractors are conducting soil tests in Subang Jaya - but Prasarana has not appointed a primary contractor or finalized their proposal for the LRT extensions.

Even more interesting are these points. It is almost funny to hear that Prasarana is unsure that it can secure the RM5billion in funding for the LRT extension. Remember that Prasarana is owned 100% by the Finance Ministry. How can it be that a company owned by the Treasury of Malaysia cannot secure RM5 billion in funding for an LRT project?

Also, if the government is planning on the extension, why is a contractor engaged by Prasarana asking to arrange a meeting with residents of Subang Jaya and USJ to share ideas for an integrated public transport network? Do they have a plan or not? And if they have a plan, why is it not public and open for discussion?

Prasarana once conducted a survey of households in the Klang Valley to determine their preferred uses and modes of transportation but they have not made the results of this survey public or engaged in any public discussion about the way people use public transport and other modes. They have not prepared or explored any alternatives beyond LRT extensions to show that the benefits of the proposed LRT extensions will justify the massive costs of construction.

They have provided no clear information to show that the proposed extensions are absolutely vital to suburban communities like Subang Jaya and USJ and Putra Heights. They have not examined any other corridors though it is known that urban Kuala Lumpur is in desperate need for at least 5 more lines.

Finally, they did not even have the courtesy to send a representative to a dialogue initiated by the ADUN of Subang Jaya last year.

This dismal "track record" (pardon the pun) makes it clear that there is a long way to go to improve public transport in Malaysia. It also makes it clear that the public should not easily accept and not question plans or promises from the government. If we really want to see improvements to public transport then we must have open public discussion, public consultation ... and active public participation.


Moaz Yusuf Ahmad
klangvalley.transit (at) gmail (dot) com
I'll make the call again. If the Federal Government is unable to sort out our public transportation system throughout the country, for goodness sake, delegate the responsibilities to the respective state and local governments.


Anonymous said...

do you think all of this has to do with collecting toll? imagine the LRT bypassing puchong, subang and more...

When we need monopoly (LRT system) to be efficient, BN disallowed it, when we don't need monopoly(streamyx), BN allows it.

Our LRT system is a joke. 5 different system in a small city like KL? Next time all study trip should be carried out in singapore.

amoker said...

I tot this is one of the reason that government uses to assuage the anger when the raise the petrol price?

Anonymous said...

Tony..Tony! When will you ever learn. Nothing is going to happen till this government goes...and serious men and women get to work. Blogs are nice. But it is the Sivakumar kind that this country needs.

Johnny Ong said...

tat's why i didnt vote for bn knowing such thing will happen

Johnny Ong said...

from day one they announced it many people had already commented that it was an empty promise. true enough now

Eric said...

"If the Federal Government is unable to sort out our public transportation system throughout the country, for goodness sake, delegate the responsibilities to the respective state and local governments."

Hi Tony;

what if the federal government is unable to:
- account for the billions it allegedly spent on public transport when they dramatically increased the oil and gas prices
- sort out the judiciary by sorting out the Lingam case as recommended by the Royal Commission and remove the obviously biased (UMNO member) and tainted (adulterous and crony businessman) Chief Justice
- bring PDRM and ACA's credibility back by bringing about real reforms
- etc.
then what can we do? Except sack them for good.

Anonymous said...

What have I learned well in this country?

Never trust the federal government, system, police, hospital and BN's people!

Anonymous said...

Why 2013? Of course, by then, BN is history.Then real works can begin instead of gravy trains.

Anonymous said...

guys, dont waste your breath.
look at the water situation. Selangor wants it for a price. BN sabotage to circumvent and will pay a higher price. when its lease back to Selangor Govt, you and I are going to pay thru the nose.
BN, fair. Yup, to their cronies at the expense of the commoners.

Thank you, BN.

Anonymous said...

When the government increased the petrol price from RM 1.62 to RM 1.92 on 31 July 2005, the government said the saving from the subsidy will be used to improve public transport system.

When the petrol price was raised sharply to RM 2.70 on 5 June 2008, the government said the same thing.

But have we seen any significant improvement to our public transport system?

In 2006, Najib announced that the LRT extension would be operational by 2010.

RM 35 billions were allocated in Budget 2009 to improve the public transport system.

But then, Malay Mail reported the delay in implementation of the LRT extension is due to funding problem.

When Najib talked about this project in 2006, didn't he, as a deputy prime minister think about the funding of the project before announcement was made?

If such important project planned in 2006 is so difficult to materialise (due to funding problem), no wonder Malaysians are pessimistic about the RM 7b stimulus plan and the coming even bigger stimulus package to be announced on 10 March 2009.

By the way, Singapore government will be opening their MRT Circle Line Stage 2 will be open end of May 2009, AHEAD of schedule.

If you ask Ong Tee Keat about the delay in LRT extension, I bet he will say this project is under jurisdiction of Finance Ministry.

Anonymous said...

I think you missed a larger point. If the govt is looking to stimulate the economy, this is a good project to go ahead except for one thing - these things tend to be too slow, taking anywhere from 6-12 months before it takes effect. What does that mean?


So we are now giving up good long term projects for quick fixes that will not prepare us when things picks up. In other words the main thing the govt want to do is give out checks OR preoccupy the unemployed less it becomes a political headache. The programs will largely be making more jobs in civil service that don't serve any purpose OR pseudo-job retraining programs which are really just 'keep them busy' programs rather than anything concrete.

The programs will NOT be effective merely mute the protest BUT the worst thing is we would not be EVEN MORE BEHIND other countries that are willing to take the pain and restructure seriously now...

Anonymous said...

BN is out.... they know it..

BN or even PM know it, they keep saying they strong, why in PERAK case they rob it and they denied..

even PAKATAN call for re-election WHY They so scare to call re-election????
They always said they public support them... then why so SCARE to call election?????

BN Always give non-sense reason!!!

When they do things, without follow "undang-undang" can, why when speaker ban them, they said wrong?

If BN are strong, then why so CHICKEN??????????????

theenkin said...

thanks Tony for bringing up this issue again.

where is the development for our LRT system?

or should we build more highways to collect more tolls?

government has to walk the talk, talk the walk. don't give empty promises. we are sick and tired with all these promises.

most of all, we are sick of the congestion on the road and mismanagement of the transportation in klang valley.

Why dont we hold a forum to talk about this issue again in order to remind the people and not just doing it before the election?

In this way, this will remind the Rakyat what the government said and failed to do.

and we as rakyat are responsible to make Malaysia a better place to stay.

Anonymous said...

Beban Negara(BN) is too expensive for the people to vote. We, people cannot afford anymore. The country has been exhausted by them.

clchan82 said...


Ipoh speaker will be removed for sure, Selangor MB is in danger to be removed and Kedah MB is unconvincing!

Khir Toyo n Mukriz had sent out strong message that ISA should be used against the "noisy voice" just like what Tun M did in the past.

At time I support Anwar's toppling the Fed Gov through defection in the parliament, because once NAJIB in power, he will be ruthless! Believe me, this guy going to use all the available resources to maintain he is in power.

Just as most blogger mind, Mas is hopeless already! I hope what DAP will cooperate with other PR component parties just prepare for the next GE is by register new voters who generally is opposition votes. That's the only way to settle once and for all as rural malays votes is hardly changed or wait till those oldies died.

PR should be aim on how to take over the Fed Gov! The only way is register new voters!

Anonymous said...

Sorry off topic a bit. I read in a forum that the PDRM and Sabah government are taking Mitsubishi Evolution and Volvo S80 as official car.

Why no report in the paper ?

Anonymous said...

It is learnt that Syarikat Prasarana Nasional Bhd (SBNB), the whollyowned government company (under Ministry of Finance Inc) set up to run key public transport companies, is facing difficulty sourcing the estimated RM5 billion for the 32km project.

Funding problem ???

And real frustrated with the paper headlines nowadays.

Today the Star [Defy the ban:PM] What a stupid headline.

Anonymous said...

Now BN / UMNO is busy execute plan to take back PKR state, they not interest on public issues. Read the recent news, ours law executor – police and department of corruption executing UMNO plan to revenge.

We can not allow such dirty politic continues in ours lovely country, BN is bring democracy to hell.

Anonymous said...

Funds not available. So, don't raise your hopes on any $7b or $50b pump priming package.

Anonymous said...

the promised extensions delayed? we are not suggesting any fault here cause only management would truly know the cause. but in anything we do in life, early planning, regular monitored execution is important. any reasons specified why delayed. by the way, there are other areas such as cheras and puchong that need the mode of transport.

Anonymous said...

No need to look far. The state of the road on the federal highway from kl to klang is terrible. BN cant do anything abt this...

They are capable only of building a half bridge that leads to no where....

Why even bother to build in the first place?

Malaysian said...

Gosh the monkey government really into monkey business