Wednesday, June 11, 2008
It is Not So Convenient, says Shahrir Samad
Shahrir Samad seen in this picture disembarked from the ERL Transit in Putrajaya. It was reported in The Star that Shahrir Samad is a frequent user of ERL Link from KL Sentral to KLIA. When the photo was taken, it was his second day using the ERL Transit from his house in Taman Tunku to his office in Putrajaya and his comment after two (2) days is: -
“It’s not so convenient since there is no bus connection from my house to KL Sentral to take the ERL to Putrajaya. My wife has to send me to KL Sentral and my driver picks me up in Putrajaya."
He will bring this matter up at the Cabinet meeting today. Well, seems like a good effort or attempt in trying to understand the people's problem with public transport. But is that enough? Few things to ponder: -
(1) What is the issue that he wants to raise at the Cabinet meeting? No bus connection from his house to KL Sentral? Come on!!! Anybody in Taman Tunku need a bus ride? He must be joking right?
(2) He is a frequent user of ERL Express. How did he go to KL Sentral fro his house all these while? Don't you think that he should have realised that there is no bus connecting his residential area to KL Sentral (if one is needed) without the need for him to take the two (2) days trial?
(3) If what he meant by the phrase "it is not so convenient" is the condition in the ERL, my advice to him, wait until you take a ride in our Star and Putra LRT during peak hours. Then only you will appreciate the inconvenience that you have in the ERL. I think the Ministers including the PM and his deputy should take a ride in our two (2) LRTs during peak hours without any VIP treatment, I mean take a ride as a normal citizen of Malaysia to better understand our public transportation problem. To understand it better, they also need to take a ride in our public buses.
(4) At least for Shahrir, his wife sends him to KL Sentral and his driver picks him up in Putrajaya station. What he should have done is take a bus from the station to his office, by then, his comment, I guess would have been "it is really not so convenient..." So, the issue may change from the mere absence of public bus in certain area to the quality of our public transportation.
(5) I wonder what will be the Cabinet's reaction on this issue, if at all, Shahrir Samad does raise up this matter in the Cabinet's meeting?
To deviate from the above topic, many years ago, there was an annoucement made that the operator of Putra LRT would be buying more coaches to ease the difficulties and uncomfortability of the commuters using the LRT. In fact, end of last year, I wrote an email complaining, among others about the condition in the LRT to RapidKL customer service. I only received their reponse after I sent a follow up email to their then CEO, Rein Weistra, a Dutch. Their response was the standard one i.e. that they have made booking to purchase more coaches and they were still waiting. I guess, they are waiting for the moon to fall on their laps (bulan jatuh ke riba). After so many years in operation, the Putra LRT still running with the two (2) very short coaches for every train though the number of passengers has increased tremendously. In fact the operation of our two (2) LRTs i.e. Putra and Star are getting from bad to worse. What does the government plan to do about it? In 2005 when the government increased the petrol price by RM0.30 to RM1.92 per litre, the government said that they would use the subsidy saved by the increase of the petrol price (amounting to few billion Ringgit) to upgrade our public transportation system. My foot!!! What upgrading were they talking about after three (3) years? I saw some changes were made but not improvement. If at all they (the government) are talking about improvement, it could be the introduction of RapidPenang. I have no idea to what extent the public transportation in Penang has improved with the introduction of RapidPenang but talking about the changes made in Kuala Lumpur, from what I noticed, before the changes were made, people in my area needed to take only one (1) bus to go to Kuala Lumpur but with the changes, they need to take at least three (3) buses to go to Kuala Lumpur. This is the service provided by RapidKL. So, is it improvement or inconvenience? I wonder where did the subsidy money went that were meant to upgrade the transportation system three (3) years ago?
On another note, Shahrir Samad said that petrol money used as subsidy in many areas and that Petronas has been helping the government all these while. Click here http://www.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/6/11/nation/21518642&sec=nation. I quote what he said: -
“Ever since the fuel price increase was announced, people have been demanding to know why Petronas is not helping out. What they don’t know is that the company has been helping out all this while...Petronas is helping out. Let me assure you of that.”
Anybody wants to believe what Shahrir Samad said? Well, it may be true in one sense but I do not trust this guy. He was a different Shahrir Samad who used to be vocal and a man of principle when he was the Chairman of the Backbenchers. Remember the day when he quit his post as the PAC Chairman due to lack of supprt from the members in last term? If he is the same Shahrir Samad today, I believe he would have relinquished his position as a Minister when government decided to uplift the ban on foreign vehicle buying our petrol and the effective date of the petrol price increase. Now, he is wearing different hat altogether ever since he was appointed as a full Minister. Remember few days before the Fuel Price Increase Day that he said that the petrol price would be increased in August and when asked on Pak Lah statement that the price would be increased with immediate effect on 4/6/2008, he said that he did not see his statement and that of Pak Lah being inconsistent. What the heck!!! And now he is expecting us to believe him when he said "Let me assure you of that". Once a liar, you are always a liar.
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