Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib visited the Masjid Jamek/Masjid India area of Kuala Lumpur today to carry out another of his turun padang + photo opportunity weekends.
His visit to the area was notable for his use of the LRT and was published in the NST and the Star Newspaper (below):
Najib wants immediate attention to ease city congestion
KUALA LUMPUR: Three weeks after Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak went down to the ground to visit three localities in the heart of the city, the prime minister Saturday sprung another surprise when he went on a walkabout at the bustling Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman (Jalan TAR) and Puduraya here.
However, he was not happy with the traffic congestion and the inefficiency of the public facilities during his one-hour inspection, according to Federal Territory Minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin.
Najib, who was dressed casually in a brown shirt and beige pants, arrived at Jalan TAR, near Semua House at 3.20pm, accompanied by Raja Nong Chik, his deputy Datuk M. Saravanan and Kuala Lumpur city mayor Datuk Ahmad Fuad Ismail.
At Jalan TAR, which is famed for its textiles and jewellery shops, Najib was briefed by Ahmad Fuad about a proposed multi-storey carpark to be located near Semua House, and other upgrading plans for the area.
He then spent about 30 minutes walking along the street where he also stopped to chat with the business people and the public there.
Later, he hitched a ride on the crowded LRT (he had to stand) from Masjid Jamek station to the Plaza Rakyat station where he walked to the infamous ever congested Puduraya where the express bus terminal for the northern and southern zones is located.
While it is nice to see the Prime Minister of Malaysia taking a look at what public transport is like, it would be better if Dato’ Seri Najib took a look at the congestion and problems related to the bus service.
If only he walked a little further to Lebuh Ampang, where he could see the bus congestion there, or Jalan Tun H.S. Lee where the Metrobuses are treating the area like their very own parking garage. Perhaps he could have walked a little further to the Pasar Seni LRT station, which is also the site of Pasarama Kota, the “Klang Bus Stand” and the unofficial “Seremban bus stand”.
If Dato’ Seri Najib had taken a look at these areas, then perhaps he would have a better understanding what is wrong with public transport.
One wonders what Dato’ Seri Najib was thinking when he walked by the Masjid Jamek Plaza, a costly structure that took too long to built and has done little to improve the connections between the two LRT lines. Perhaps he wondered why the LRT had no lift, or why he would have to go all the way down to Jalan Tun Perak and cross that very busy road if he wanted to access the other platform. Perhaps he was a little unhappy because he had to stand on a Saturday. Or perhaps he was happy to see people using public transport.
It is likely that we will never know what Dato’ Seri Najib was thinking. We can only hope that the visit gives him a better understanding of public transport – and that he takes a real visit to see what the bus facilities are like in this country.
KL Sentral, Puduraya, Pasarama Kota would all be great places to start.
And the members of TRANSIT would be happy to be there and point out these issues to him.
3 replies on “PM Najib takes public transport as part of KL photo op”
[…] was quick to comment on Prime Minister Dato Seri Najib’s visit to Masjid India in KL which included a trip on the […]
You may not experience the full dissappointment of public transport even if you had taken the ride on a LRT/Monorail/Commuter Train or inspecting the condition all the bus stand/station within the Kuala Lumpur urban areas.
You should even try to catch a public bus from one location to another during peak hours. Time the duration it takes for you to arrive. Observe and the condition and comfortability of the bus from the public’s point of experience.
Only then you may know why many of them including me prefer to drive rather than taking a public transportation.
I am not trying say that the public bus in KL has not improved since the first day I use them in 2005 for my daily travel. It is just that the improvement is out pace by the growth of the population while the comfortability and conviniency are still below satisfaction level.
It is in my humble opinion that all the ministers, MP, elected local representative should plan more often field visit or so called ‘turun padang’ as what our 6th Prime Minister’s example shown here. Gauge the performance of public transport from time to time by their own experience. Try to take the public transport to work once a while instead of taking their own cars to set an example to the public.
If everyone had a good experience and knows the pros overweight the cons of using public transport, I do not think there is any reason or excuse why they would drive and cause mass congestion on the road during peak hours. That is the moment where we may notice a wave of shift from driver to passenger on the road. That is when the transport revolution will begin.
to have an efficient bus service and reduce inner city traffic congestion, i suggest :
1. To design a special bus-only lane in some area of KL especially 3-lane road, namely Jalan TAR, Jalan Ipoh, Jalan Chow Kit, Jalan Bukit Bintang etc.
2. Seal and make a barrier of those bus-only lane as Busway in Jakarta.
3. To appoint only one or two bus operators which can operate inside the inner city.
4. Enforce strict punishment especially to trouble causing bus operator, Metrobus.
5. Bus operators to use minibus/small-sized bus after peak hour to reduce operating cost.
6. Increase fine for roadside parking/waiting.