SUFFER NO MORE: Build Us An Efficient Public Transportation System ASAP
The Malaysian Members of Parliament and State Assemblies
More Info at:
With the whopping fuel hike of June 4 2008, the nation is now caught in the whirlwind of spiraling inflation. Rising prices creates an additional burden that further aggravates an already difficult life, which Malaysians are struggling to make ends meet.
We now fear that our familys income will be further threatened if our employer could not take the financial stress of rising cost; we would lose our jobs or face a salary cut in the very near future. We know this is real and is coming very soon, if nothing is done to avert the crisis from realizing itself.
Needless to say, when that happens, my familys livelihood would be put under immediate danger. Not only do we worry about the danger of hunger and losing our shelters, we are also worried sick about the increasing crime and security dangers arising from higher unemployment and real hardships where survival guides human behavior.
We want to SUFFER NO MORE. We want the government to act promptly to avert the suffering.
We, the Rakyat, are ready to adjust but we need the government to put in place the necessary conditions to enable this adjustment or change to take place. A paradigm shift as well as radical adjustments in our infrastructure and operating model must be implemented.
As such, we ask you to communicate immediately this dire and painful situation we are in to the government and ask the authorities to take immediate actions on the following:
1. In order to prevent the economy from sliding into a major contraction, the government must speedily put in place a comprehensive plan to help businesses, especially the SMIs. To cushion the financial impact of the fuel hike; allow businesses to migrate to the higher energy cost over a period of 3 years so minimum disruptions will happen to employment. Jobs must be saved before the Rakyat could adjust to a more efficient lifestyle.
2. The Rakyat know the importance of conserving fossil fuel and the need to switch to other more efficient transportation mode or using lower cost fuel or fuel-efficient vehicles. For the benefit of the middle class, especially the lower middle class, the government must focus and expedite effort in putting in place an integrated network of pubic transportation web. An efficient transportation is the artery of the city, which enables the average wage earners, petty traders and students to function and to be productive.
Throughout Malaysia, there is no efficient system of public transportation that allows the Rakyat to adjust to a less car-dependent lifestyle. There is no infrastructure in place for the Rakyat to switch to any alternatives. The government must now treat this as a priority and work round the clock to develop the alternative.
The following must be given top priority with a blueprint for action and timetable for completion:
a. Make available small and feeder buses that help the Rakyat to get to the main arteries of Rapid Bus and Subway Lines. If these routes are not profitable, help the operators with subsidy.
b. Increase the efficiency of the existing Subway Lines and Rapid Buses by reconfigure the routes and road networks to enable faster and smoother flow. Rationalize all the privatized tolled highways and seek ways to balance the interest of the private operators and the Rakyat.
c. Qualify and train bus drivers against an accepted standard to ensure they are competent and professional so the safety of the passengers can be ensured. Make sure that public transportation paths and routes are safe, and wherever emergencies or eventualities arise, HELP services are available immediately. A city 911 rescue and support system similar to that of the US need to go hand-in-hand with public security.
d. Provide free, safe, well-lit and clean parking lots for cars, motorbikes and bicycles at strategic and high-density entry points to the main transportation arteries. These public spaces must be provided with surveillance of the local police.
e. Work to introduce and popularize the bicycle as a feeder vehicle. Work with local authorities to ensure bicycle paths are repaired and installed to allow cyclists its own feeder link to the main transportation links; build rain shelters and plant trees along these paths to provide shade and protection against rain and storms, take care to ensure these shelters are lightning proof. Explore a private-private partnership of a bicycle rental service modeled after the Cyclocity Project of Paris, where users could enjoy free bike service throughout the city.
g. Whenever and wherever found to be more effective and efficiently implemented, devolve the power to the state governments and/or local municipal authorities to implement the above. It would be faster and more effective to achieve an efficient public transportation web if the resources and power are devolved to the state level; while the Federal government supports with regulation, expertise and advisory. Foreign direct investment and expertise can be sought to participate in these transformations.
3. Make available low interest loans from finance companies and private banks for cars to be converted to run on more efficient fuel, such as gas. Increase the number of NGV filing stations in key concentration of populations within the next 6 months, making the average wait for filling gas to be less than 10 minutes. Franchise the NGV stations to private landowners so there would be no issues of land acquisition and a good network can be built in a short time. With gas at RM0.64 per liter compared to RM2.70 per liter for petrol, the savings can help many businesses and individuals to cushion the impact of stagnation of income and inflation (stagflation).
4. On the macro level, we want the Government to make a determined effort in reviewing the tolled roads and the traffic flows in all Malaysian cities as well as to critically examine toll collection to reduce the burden on the Rakyat. Since service cannot be improved by the existing operator/s, in addition, we expect the government to rationalize and liberalize the transportation market as soon as possible to allow competition to drive efficiency.
5. All infrastructures related to transport, logistics as well as energy flow, including gas pipelines must be made to work to the maximum to justify the investment in them. The spending from allocations must now be worked on to yield efficiency and productivity. We want the government to reveal the true state of our energy position and how this nations future energy needs will be met.
6. The New Task Force to manage this task must be given Key Performance Index (KPI) to guide their performance. As this matter is one of critical national importance, the government must ensure the right expertises are gathered to do the job, and anyone not performing on the job must be replaced.
Yang Berhormat, a national crisis of mega proportion is brewing, we want to get to work immediately to stop this. Please take this message as a serious SOS call, get organized and return a peaceful and secure life to us all. Lets make sure that the nation will not plunge into chaos by acting promptly in a crisis mode.
Ask the government to give this looming crisis its top priority and mobilize the entire government machinery to achieve the new infrastructure in the shortest time possible.
This is a very trying time, ONLY IN WORKING TOGETHER (political affiliations aside), we shall ALL survive. It is the Malaysians who make Malaysia. MALAYSIANS BOLEH!
"People are The Boss"
Pahlawan Volunteers and The Undersigned
A Malaysian Voluntary and Advocacy Group
- From conviction to action | www.pahlawan.com.my
Join Pahlawan Volunteers Think Tank and Discussion Group>