Despite the recent hiccup at the Putra-LRT station and consequent bad handling and unsafe emergency procedures by Prasarana Malaysia, there were encouraging development on public transportation.
There was the commencement of the second MRT line that extends the reach of Putra-LRT commuters beyond Klana Jaya till last station off Putra Heights. The third line is at planning stage and will take commuters to Sungai Buloh-Serdang- Putarajaya.
In July, the MOU for the High Speed Rail from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore was inked. The 350km line will reduce travel time between the two destinations and make Kuala Lumpur and Singapore only one and half hour away.
Malaysia plan to spend almost RM70 billon on rail infrastructure. It is another people-centric economic initiative by Dato Najib.
This should have been the option over the economic development model based on subsidised petrol, tolled highway and Proton car ownership.
There was no interest in past administration to develop an efficient mass rail transport. KTM rail should have been changed for a wider gauge for faster, higher load, and modern rail transport.
Too many boo boo twisting to cover for past mistake.
The current development is a development to the critic by a 3rd year University student, Roger Teoh in Malay Mail Online on October 2014.
Ever since the British left Malaya, our train and rail networking system initially developed by the Brits has not really progressed much.
While other countries have since developed high-speed rail as well as mature intra-city rail and bus networks, we are still dependent on an 8-hour night train to get from KL to Penang, a distance of only 400km!
It is true that our government recently announced the latest High Speed Rail Network and its stations connecting Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. However, we have been told recently in a parliamentary reply from the government that this High Speed Rail Network is an independent transportation system which does not connect or has no integration at all to existing transportation infrastructures.
For example, people still would have to drive in order to reach the High Speed Rail Stations, which does not solve any problems at all. Does this bring ease and convenience for using public transport?
The 2015 Budget proposed by Barisan Nasional shows a staggering 81.6 per cent for Operating Expenditure and only 18.4 per cent allocated to Development Expenditure. Not only that, only RM3.3 billion (1.2 per cent of total budget expenditure) is allocated to the Transport Ministry compared to RM19.6 billion to the Prime Minister Department (7.2 per cent of total budget expenditure).
As of July 2014, Malaysian household debt has already hit an astonishing 89.2 per cent of GDP with the breakdown of debts shows car loans to be the most significant portion at 51 per cent, compared to student loans (33 per cent), housing loans (29 per cent), and personal loans (15 per cent) according to data from the Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association, FOMCA.
This figure above shows that owning a personal car for transport is already a “need” rather than a “want” for Malaysians. Making matters worse, Budget 2015 shows no political will from the government to drastically improve the national public transportation system.
The consumption of cars and real estate is the main generation of growth worldwide. For example in China, it is a national Chinese policy to build roads and highways to maintain high growth rates.
Therefore, in the case of Malaysia, is our government trying to follow suit to in order for national car producers (cronies) to maintain a high profit margin at the rakyat’s expense?
Not to forget too that highways proposed and built comes at a cost of having toll rates with unreasonable periods of return that also ultimately benefit no one but the cronies.
Consequences of Poor Public Transportation System
Prasana, operator of Putra LRT failed in handling crisis
Since the late 1990s, fuel prices have risen faster than disposable income and the trend looks all set to continue.
What’s more, because of the ultimate depletion of fossil fuels and imperatives for climate protection, energy for transport will no longer be abundant and inexpensive but scarce and increasingly unaffordable.
Despite the hike in petrol prices in the last few weeks, we are told of yet even more highway projects instead of development in public transportation system. This will further lock us into our dependency on fossil fuels.
This increase in the need for fuel will also increase the amount of subsidies paid by the government. Without an alternative solution, is this even sustainable in the long run?
Additionally, with more investments in roads and highways instead of public transport encourages people to drive more, resulting in an inevitable increase amount of vehicles on the road. With more traffic comes more congestion and more limited parking spaces in city centres.The rail projects serves to answer this past critic.
It is a matter of time before the congestion issues in urban areas around Malaysia will be as bad as other notorious cities such as Jakarta and Manila, where public transport is also just as absent. Therefore, without a policy change in the near future, is Malaysia heading into transport chaos?
Current government is concern to embark in project for rakyat's convenience and comfort over the mega pyramids of the past that is more self serving to corporate interest and a certain personal ego.
Najib has the political will to pursue public transportation much needed by the people.
Since YTL gets to continue with the HSR project and it will open them up to a bigger opportunity for development along the rail. Many plantation companies are already embarking in township development along the HSR.
It is not a bad idea to renegotiate the ERL rate down. DAP MP Ong Kian Meng made a statement recently:
Ong calls for new agreement with ERL
FMT Reporters | September 14, 2016
The Auditor- General (A-G) concluded the concession agreement with the company was "lopsided".
KUALA LUMPUR: Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming has urged the Federal Government to negotiate a new concession agreement with Express Rail Link Sdn Bhd (ERL) which runs the high speed rail line from KL Sentral to KLIA and klia2.
The new and existing agreements must be made public, he added. The public can then make comparisons and ensure the government and passengers get a fair deal.
The MP cited three reasons for a new agreement.
Firstly, the government fully funded the RM100 million extension of the ERL link from KLIA to KLIA2, and handed the facility to the company free at public expense.
Secondly, the extension saw a 43 per cent increase in ERL’s passengers from 6.44 million in 2013 to 9.23 million in 2014.
Thirdly, under the existing agreement, the price of a one-way ticket from KL Sentral to KLIA would increase to RM97 in 2019 and RM126 in 2024. It was RM31 in 1999.
The MP was commenting on the Auditor- General (A-G) concluding the concession agreement with ERL Sdn Bhd was “lopsided”. “The A-G said the agreement was not ‘best value for money’.”
The A-G’s Report also states the government has agreed, in principle, to extend the ERL concession to 2059 i.e. by 30 years from the current 2029, he noted. “The extension was supposed to be signed this month.”
Briefly, said the MP, the ticket pricing problems and compensation for ERL stem from the concession agreement being kept under wraps.
As a result, he lamented, the concession holder can negotiate steep ticket price increases. “They know the government won’t be under any public pressure as this information won’t be disclosed.”
The concession holder can use the shortfall between actual and projected revenue to get compensation from the government, he warned. “ERL Sdn Bhd already has an outstanding claim of RM2.9 billion.”
ERL’s projected revenue in 2014, for example, was RM905 million. It’s actual revenue was only RM124.3 million or 13.7 per cent of the projected total.
Ong called for ticket price increases, under the new agreement, to be reasonable and justified. “The methodology for projecting passenger and revenue growth must be accurate.”
“Profits must be capped at an agreed rate.”
He sees no reason why the passenger service charge cannot be scrapped as not all outbound passengers use the ERL. These charges, imposed since 2002, cost passengers RM583.66 million as at June last year.
YTL have made many sins towards the people in the past.
Could they be more patriotic and nationalistic to contribute back to rakyat and nation for the wealth they made from crony capitalism, easy money, and failed delivery?
Public transport model in developed cities of the world kept fare low by giving rail owners oppurtunity to own development along the rail line.
If not for selfish interest to allow land grab by cronies in the past, public transport cost is relatively high, continually rising and not as convenient and significantly cheaper than private transportation mode.