TRANSIT notes this article in The Sun, in which Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Aziz gives details about the proposed Suruhanjaya Pengnagkutan Awam Darat or Land Public Transport Commission [TRANSIT: Public Land Transport Commission, which sounds better].
PUTRAJAYA ( Jan 21, 2010) : The new Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD), whose establishment was announced during the 2010 Budget last year, will be operational on June 1, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said.
Set up as a single authority to monitor and enforce service standards in providing a long-term plan for urban public transport, SPAD will take over the tasks of the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board (CVLB) in Peninsular Malaysia.
“The process now is at the level of looking at the draft of the bill. The draft will be brought to the cabinet as a memorandum next month and will be tabled in Dewan Rakyat in the coming session.
“Once SPAD is set up, the Peninsula CVLB will be closed. So, we will have a new commission to handle all these,” he told a press conference after delivering his new year message to CVLB staff here today
Nazri said all land public transport will come under SPAD which will be placed under the Prime Minister’s Department.
In his speech, he said in 2009, CVLB has shown consistent performance in processing applications for licences.
“The number of applications processed last year was 109,897. Of this, 18,881 were new applications, 44,442 renewals and 46,574 were for changing licensing conditions,” he said, adding it showed the efficiency of CVLB staff.
He reminded them of the decision early this month to make it compulsory for express bus companies to fully implement the Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) Code under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
“I want for this code of practice to be used fully by CVLB so that 2010 will become a year free from any safety issues and road accidents,” he added.
He also reiterated that outdated laws must be revised to suit the present situation and needs and this includes amending the CVLB Act to increase the penalty for bus drivers involved in accidents from RM300 to RM500,000.
He also said suspension of company operations or bus driver’s licence is not the solution to road transport woes as it would only do more harm to the company and its workers.
“During our discussions with industry players and operators, I was made to understand that they prefer paying a huge fine rather than having to go through suspension.
“I think it is only fair, because suspending operations is not the way,” he added.
We have been waiting for so long! The creation of the SPAD is going to be the first (among many) steps in resolving the problems that exist in public transport in Malaysia.
But of course there are many more steps that have to be taken – and most importantly, the public must be given a chance to be involved by working with SPAD and the Local Public Transport Councils to make the operation of public transport much more effective.
TRANSIT will apply for an opportunity to review the Draft SPAD Act when it is presented to Parliament in March 2010. And we expect that the SPAD will be monitored by a Parliamentary Select Committee for Land Transport.