JUNE 13 — Yesterday I had to attend an early morning meeting at Grand Millennium Hotel in Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur. A night before, I lamented on the traffic which I would have to undergo before reaching my destination, if I drove into the city.
I consulted a few friends to explore travel options and received suggestions advising me to take the LRT from University Station (from where I live) to KL Sentral, from there hop on to the Monorail disembarking at Bukit Bintang station and walk to the hotel which is located just five minutes’ walk away. Instead of driving, I did as advised and was impressed with the convenience of reaching my destination within just 40 minutes. How convenient!
Public transport infrastructure is a key to a nation’s socio-economic growth and is vital components for a city like Kuala Lumpur to perform as a vibrant economic powerhouse. It is therefore necessary for our government to allocate a significant amount of budget to build and maintain a world class efficient transportation infrastructure.
The previous government deserves commendation for its focus in investing into a world class public infrastructure especially its rail connectivity, which had remained neglected many years. With the introduction of Proton, focus on cheaper local car supported by easy access to loans saw a boom in the car ownership at the expense of a deplorable public transport infrastructure. With major urban centres especially the Klang Valley undergoing rapid development, experts will tell us that we can no longer rely on the road when moving around.
A significant budget was committed in planning and constructing, especially the MRT lines which consisted of MRT 1 (51km Sungai Buloh-Kajang), MRT 2 (Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya) and completed by the MRT 3 Circle Line, which would finally connect all dots around the whole of Klang Valley. How exciting it would have been with the ability to move around Klang Valley at great ease!
While the MRT 1 has been completed, construction of MRT2 under way, unfortunately the Prime Minister has abruptly announced the cancellation of MRT3 Circle line citing cost impact on the government debt situation as a factor.
From the situation which is shared above, it is evident that efficient public transportation makes it easier and convenient for people to move around, avoiding parking, fuel cost, traffic congestion delays and annoyance. This will ultimately improve productivity which is beneficial to the overall socio-economic development of the country.
Malaysia Consumers Movement (MCM) therefore calls upon the government to carry on with the MRT 3 Circle Line project.
*This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.