Friday, May 25, 2018

Transport Minister - Priority provision of efficient affordable public transport for ALL Malaysians?

Minister of Transport should seriously be looking at the transportation needs, in particular efficient, accessible and affordable public transportation for the smaller towns and rural areas in Malaysia, unlike the UMNO-BN government that was more concerned with Kuala Lumpur and Klang Valley, and the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia.

Using private transportation is something that has burdened Malaysians financially, and they had little choice and were forced to buy cars/motorcycles as public transport was totally inefficient in the smaller towns and rural areas. One could not even pick up the phone and get a taxi. Town and inter-district bus services were non-existent or just totally inefficient.

Transportation - Fuel prices and tols is really not the biggest problems in Malaysia.The biggest problem is the lack of an efficient, affordable public transport system not just in Klang Valley and big towns but also in smaller towns and all over Malaysia. The absence of public transport covering all areas of town, tamans and kampungs resulted in the increased cost of living.

The lack of an efficient public transport system has FORCED Malaysians to have to buy their own cars and motor-bikes, for which they were burdened with having to pay for petrol, tols and parking. A perusal of developed countries in Europe and even Asia(Hong Kong, Japan, etc) will see that an effective public transport system will not only cut our expenses - but also be better for our environment and healthcare. Public Transport is a basic necessity - and as such, government must be responsible to provide for it, for routes and areas where it is not profitable - for which private transport companies may not be able to or interested in this 'business'.

Under UMNO-BN, there was easy approvals to build shop lots and business premises, but the biggest problem was 'parking spaces', and since public transport was not there, almost everyone from the employees of the business premises, and customers had to come using their own cars. 


Our smaller towns are growing with Housing Tamans and kampungs covering a large area - so, no more is it sufficient to have just inter-town bus services but in-town and in-district bus services (preferably one must be able to walk no further than 1 km from one's home or workplace/school to get a bus, which most importantly must be efficient(on time) and also regular. 

Under the UMNO-BN rule, what efficient bus services that we used to have maybe 30-50 years ago, is gone. Now, even for inter-town services, there is no regular schedule(which every bus stop should have), so we wait at the bus-stop for some time, and sometime are forced to hail a passing taxi and pay more. Now, people in Klang Valley and bigger towns really will not understand this problem that is faced by most small towns and medium sized towns...and rural they have taxis they can phone and get, and bus services.  


There were people interested in providing intra-town district bus services but the problem was simply the near impossibility of getting licences/permits - a problem that even Opposition States in Penang and Selangor faced - forcing the need to simply operate 'FREE' busses.

If there was a reliable bus service that I can take to get to work, many Malaysians will use it - saving fuel cost, parking cost, and in some cases 'tol cost'. That savings will help in facing the problem of increased cost of living, and it also will contribute to a better and more healthy environment.

For such intra-town bus services, sometimes it may not be 'profitable' to attract private investors, companies or individuals - as such, maybe such services should maybe be provided directly by government (now maybe the Federal Government vide the Ministry of Transport, and/or the relevant Local Government...and maybe in the future could be handed over to private individuals and companies to run). 

The requirement is that the time between buses arriving at a particular bus stop should never be more than 30 minutes, better still if this can be be 10 minutes. Bus sizes need to flexible - and vans should also be allowed to function.  


In Temerloh, being the 2nd biggest town in Pahang, if one wants to go to the hospital or to town, the biggest problem is 'HOW'. You cannot call a taxi (well, that service is not available), and even for people who manage to hail down a taxi, the problem is that there is 'no fixed rates" and there is no 'meters' - so, a taxi driver can simply charge what he wants - so for some, it may RM20 and for another, it could be RM5. Well this is a BIG problem with all the smaller towns in Malaysia. 

TRANSPORT MINISTER - Well, it may not be practical for taxi owners/companies to set up a 'radio taxi' in smaller towns and rural areas because of the number of taxis. Therefore, what the Minister can do is to set up a coordination system at the national level - where people needing a taxi could maybe call a toll free number...and a get a taxi to their location, and for this service, customers may be required to pay a nominal fee of RM1(or RM2).

TRANSPORT MINISTER - All taxis must be metered taxis - and taxi rates should be fixed based on distance and/or time.  

The other problem is that many towns have expanded, and the distance to town (and even locations) are no longer walking distance (less than 1 or 2 Km), and at the same time, UMNO-BN government failed to ensure public transport.


Remember that an effective public transport system is not just for the transportation of ordinary Malaysians - but is also important for the businesses and factories. They need an effective transportation to get their materials to their factories, and their products out - and a train is sometimes the most efficient and economical.

Whilst the UMNO-BN government was focusing on the train services on the West Coast of Malaysia, and recently the train lines from KL to Singapore, the train services in the East Coast has been deteriorating and becoming worse. Last time, there were 2 (or more) trains per day traveling the Johor Baru - Pasir Mas route...but today, there is one train per day, and it passes Mentakab(the centre point between 3-4 am).  

See earlier posts that outline the problems...

Pahang may out UMNO-BN because of poor train service - Kuala Lipis - Bahau?

Train services is not simply building a straight track from one point to another ...but also short tracks joining the main line. Train lines must be criss-crossing the country.

We need a train track linking Kuala Trengganu to the current existing West Coast train line, likewise linking Kuantan to the existing main line.

From Mentakab, the train track could link to Bentong and all the way to join the West coast line possibly in Kuala Lumpur. Likewise a train line linking the East Coast line to Penang. 

There must be train links to the different Industrial factories could easily send and receive products using trains.  

UMNO-BN seems to have been interested in tol highways, cars, and the Klang Valley and surrounding areas(LRT and Komuter). The rest of Malaysia, even East Peninsular Malaysia, was simply ignored.

Our dependency on petroleum must reduce - an effective public transport system especially trains would reduce private consumption of fuel by private car owners. Look at Europe and the rest of the world - the emphasis is on public transport especially rail transport...IN Malaysia, since UMNO-led government took over governance of Malaya - sadly no new train lines safe for now the ECRL.

Motor-Bike Taxi Service

In Thailand, this is an available service, and it most effective for short distance travel especially. Maybe, it should also be introduced here in Malaysia.

Well, many Malaysians have gone back to their hometowns and rural areas - and the available of employment opportunities or income generating activities as such will be most helpful in them combating the increasing cost of living.


If one were to travel out of the big towns, one will realise that most of the 'free' public roads are in a state of disrepair (even the white lines on the road have gone 'invisibe'). Of course, the UMNO-BN government 'promised' that all these public roads will be upgraded and maintained when they had to overcome the protest over the new tol highways....but alas, it remained a promise not fulfilled. Even in towns, like Temerloh, the lines are 'missing' at places...

Getting rid of the TOL, as it is, is important - but more importantly is the improvement of existing government roads...and the improvement of public transport...


Time to maybe have an airport in the centre of the Peninsular - no need a large International Airport - but a small local airport. This would also be good for tourism and business.    


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