Regarding public transport and KL

Regarding public transport and KL

By Hafidz Baharom

Before we begin looking at what manifestos should promise, we need to know what is already in place for Kuala Lumpur and the Greater Klang Valley.

We have two Light Rail Transit (LRT) lines, and an additional line to link Bandar Utama to Klang by 2021 – the LRT3 Line currently in the initial stages of development.

We have the Mass Rail Transit (MRT) line from Sungai Buloh to Kajang, with two more lines already under construction connecting KL to Putrajaya – which will hopefully be cheaper than the Express Rail Line (ERL).

And finally, we have the Monorail line within central KL which is supposed to be extended to Old Klang Road, which has been put on hold – and have some court cases attached to it, which will make it slower.

Of course, we do have a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) from Sunway into KL, but the fares are so high that it doesn’t make sense – perhaps one thing I would agree with the Penang Institute.

A few more BRTs have been planned, including one from Klang into KL which has been put on hold – my guess is this is waiting for the start of the LRT first.

Pakatan’s plan: More cars, more buses? Huh?

And this is where Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto gives a mixed bag that was faced by SPAD and even the government in the early 2000s and 2010s until now, which gives us this problem with traffic congestion.

You cannot subsidise cars and public transportation together.

Firstly, it takes money away from public transportation, and two, you’re doubling the cost on the government. And this is exactly what the Pakatan manifesto plans on doing.

We know why they do it – they do it because they want to win the rural votes by promoting cheaper petrol for their motorcycles and small cars – which doesn’t make sense. Primarily, because the manifesto details petrol subsidies for cars under 1300CC and motorcycles under 125CC. A MyVi is already 1329CC, a Proton Saga is 1332CC.

Thus, what cars are they subsidising? Perhaps they could clarify.

Similarly, with the removal of tolls, they are making driving cheaper in KL, not anywhere else. And thus, expect no form of control to encourage public transport. Unless, of course, they are going to implement a congestion charge – not mentioned in their manifesto.

In October last year, a DAP MP said that driving was cheaper than taking public transport. Well, with the removal of these limitations – by having cheap petrol, no tolls, and even a tax exemption for the first household car – what exactly are they doing to make public transport cheaper?

The introduction of a RM100 per month unlimited use pass for public transportation?

No, that’s not how it works.

Similarly, the idea of introducing 10,000 buses nationwide whilst encouraging cars don’t work – it is ensuring that the 10,000 buses will in fact get stuck in traffic congestion unless you’re implementing BRTs.

Not thought through properly

For some reason, this was not thought through by the Pakatan manifesto. Instead, it seems that they want to give Malaysians whatever they want without getting people to think of the ramifications of their actions on the environment.

Isn’t this contradictory to their whole idea of plastic bags banned to protect the environment?

Kuala Lumpur and the Klang Valley needs better interconnectivity with buses and rails, to move away from the idea of cars and motorcycles, if we are really interested into evolving to a first class mentality.

And to do that, we need to increase parking charges, tax petrol, keep the tolls or implement a congestion charge, and even implement the Automated Enforcement System for traffic laws and also emissions from cars that are badly maintained and polluting the air – especially the trucks.

Thus, this manifesto reads more like an auto industry promo, rather than one to make Malaysians change and evolve how they travel.

4 thoughts on “Regarding public transport and KL

  1. The DAP was formed mostly from PAP people in Malaysia following the separation of Singapore but apart from their cries of “meritocracy”, “competency”, “accountability”, “transparency”, they have nowhere near the foresight, imagination and creativity of the PAP from whence they came.


  2. I’m not sure why they’re like this. For myself it seemed as if they’ve changed in the last 10 years to a level of arrogance I’m not sure came from God knows where.


    1. I’d say their lack of imagination and plans to achieve a vision for Malaysia has to do with the fact that they have gotten used to trying to win votes on a series of single issue appeals to voters related to their concept of achieving a a Malaysian Malaysia and anti-corruption without having a comprehensive alternative programme, direction and aim in how they will run Malaysia, whilst serving and bettering the interests of all Malaysians economically, socially, culturally, spiritually and so forth.

      As for their noticeably greater arrogance since 2008 and especially since 2013, this could be due to Pakatan having made political advaces in the 12th and 13th GE by denying the BN a two thirds majority and winning five states in GE12, even though they did not win the federal government.

      Thus they may feel that their momentum gained will win them even more ground in GE14, even as far as winning the federal government.

      However, trends in the fortunes of political parties do not rise forever and just as the price of a stock which has been on a bull run for a while, is very likely to pull back, likewise the fortunes of political parties in elections where their respective political fortunes flip flop and after a good run since the last two elections, the change in the fortunes of DAP and Pakatan may happen in the next elections, though this is just a speculative guess on my part based upon the pattern of gains and reversals in past general elections.


  3. There is a tendency amongst Pakatan supporters who denounce the people, especially in the rural and semi-rural areas who vote BN as something similar to being “deplorables”.

    In many ways, they are similar to the Democrats in the U.S.

    “Hillary Clinton Insults a Quarter of the Country Again”


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