KUALA LUMPUR: The 10 new transportation projects in the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) should be reliable, pocket friendly and accessible to ensure that it could be fully utilised and solve current public transportation issues.

Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association (PPIM) secretary-general Datuk Dr Maamor Osman said the proposed transportation projects in the 12MP should be economical, efficient and integrated with other public transports to solve the ‘last mile’ problem.

He said there should be adequate feeder buses, parking and the pricing of the transportation projects should be pocket-friendly.

“I believe that a safe and efficient transportation system is a catalyst of growth in one area. I hope the proposed transportation projects will be efficient, economical and have adequate frequency to transport the public even at peak hours,” he said.

He added that the current public transport as in Selangor has a lot of issues with maintenance and the feeder buses are not as efficient.

“There must be a system that is very reliable. We can emulate the systems overseas which are very successful, reliable and with very minimal downtime.

“Our LRT downtimes are always long. That’s why we need a system that is the best and also affordable,” he said.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had announced the new transportation projects in the 12MP to emphasise the development of sustainable and resilient transport and logistics infrastructure.

Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) secretary Meenakshi Raman had called for the government to scrutinise the proposal adding that it must be economically and financially sound as to not lead to a bloated financial expense to the rakyat.

“It is good that the government is investing in public transport so as to increase the nodal share of use of public transport compared to private cars.

“However, we do call for a rational use of public resources in this regard, to ensure that the proposed projects have been properly considered and are economically sound,” Meenakshi who is also Sahabat Alam Malaysia president said.

She cited the Penang LRT as an example whereby civil society groups have called for a review of the proposal to consider other cheaper public transport alternatives.

“Such cheaper alternatives include an autonomous rail rapid transit or (ART) which is a railless train system designed to be used for urban passenger transport, which is not as expensive as an LRT where the initial proposal estimates to cost RM 10 billion.

“The public transport projects must be economically and financially sound and not lead to a bloated financial expense to the rakyat,” she said.

The other nine new transportation projects are the expansion of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and intra-city bus services including in Johor Bahru and the Klang Valley; upgrading of the Senai-Desaru Highway; widening of the North-South Highway (from Yong Peng to Senai Utara) in phases; construction of Sarawak-Sabah Link Road II; construction of Sabah Pan Borneo Highway Phase 1B; Penang International Airport expansion; redevelopment of Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, Subang; upgrading the East-West Highway from Gerik, Perak to Jeli, Kelantan; and upgrading the road from Tanah Rata to Kea Farm, Cameron Highlands.

Article by: New Straits Times