Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Razak disclosed yesterday that the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board (CVLB) will be placed under the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) in the Prime Minister’s Department (PMD).
In addition, the National Land Transport Commission (SPAD) will also be placed under the EPU in the PMD.
CVLB to come under Prime Minister’s Department“Similarly, we decided to put the CVLB under the PM’s Department because we are going to set up a National Land Transport Authority which will have representation from various ministries,” he said, adding that the Government was in the process of finalising the legislation for its establishment which he expected to be completed by the year-end.
The National Land Transport Authority would also be placed under the PM’s Department, said Najib.
Certain quarters, including small-time businessmen and taxi drivers, had questioned Najib’s decision to dissolve the ministry, adding that it was still needed, and urged him to reconsider.
It had been widely speculated that the CVLB would come under the Transport Ministry.
This is a major step forward in efforts to improve the state of public transport in Malaysia.
Moving the CVLB to the Prime Minister’s Department will ensure that the restructuring will take place – but more changes need to be made. A new home for the CVLB means that there should be a new face at the helm. CVLB Director Markiman Kobiran should step down and let Johor Baru MP Shahrir Samad take over.
As for SPAD, having the Prime Minister’s authority behind the proposed SPAD will make it more powerful and effective and nearly above politics.
The questions mount tho. Will SPAD be independent of the government of the day? If it is above politics, will it be above corruption? Will SPAD be able to listen to and work with the other 3 stakeholders (government, operators, and passengers) in the public transport industry?
There are so many questions that still have to be asked and it will take time for the answers to be found. I can only hope that the government will move forward with SPAD as quickly as possible.
Improving public transport in Malaysia will help reduce traffic congestion and recover a lot of lost productivity – perhaps RM2-3 billion in the GDP – how’s that for a stimulus package?