TRANSIT took note of a very interesting article about the plan of the Land Public Transport Commission (Suruhanjaya Pengangkutan Awam Darat or SPAD) to create a Land Public Transport Forum.
The forum will discuss public transport issues
Forum to help public air views on SPAD (NST)
13 January 2012
By Nuradzimmah Daim
KUALA LUMPUR: A Land Public Transport Forum will be set up in March.
Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) chief executive officer Mohd Nur Kamal said the forum would serve as a platform for the public to channel their views to the commission.
“Before it is set up, it is important to decide what form this forum will take, whether as an advisory panel, a society or a company.
[TRANSIT: And that is what we at TRANSIT have been talking about, for more than 3 years now.]
“It should involve a core group of people, who will run the forum, working with a bigger group, which will include members of residents’ associations,” he said during a roundtable discussion entitled Malaysian Public Transport Today and the Future recently. [TRANSIT: The forum happened on January 9th]
Commission chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar, said the forum would serve as a platform for the public to air their views and suggestions to the commission.
He said the roundtable discussion, which was organised by Malaysian Institute of Public Transport (Mitrans) was held as provided by Section 168 and 169 of the Land Public Transport Act 2010. [TRANSIT: It’s actually the Malaysia Institute of Transport, not public transport]
“According to the Act, the commission is responsible to designate an independent organisation to be named the Land Public Transport Forum that should be open to all and has its own constitution which we are discussing today.
“It represents the interest of the public in respect to public transport including fares and will be able to give feedback and recommendations to us,” he said.
Among those present at the roundtable discussion were Road Safety Department former director-general Datuk Suret Singh; Damai Disabled Persons Association of Selangor and Federal Territory president V. Murugeswaran; Mitrans director Dr Intan Rohani Endut; New Straits Times’ Cars, Bikes &Trucks editor Yamin Vong and Blog House Malaysia president Syed Akbar Ali.
The Association for the Improvement of Mass-Transit (Transit) was also invited but none of its members were present.
TRANSIT is pleased to note that the Land Public Transport Forum, something that we have been calling for for some years, is in the process of being developed.
And yes, we were invited but we were not present at the event – mainly because we had no one available and because we are now focusing on reaching out to more people through our blog, commentary on online forums, and comments in the various media.
But really, we at TRANSIT have been present for a long time and we are still a presence when it comes to public transport.
But the public need to understand that participation in the Land Public Transport Forum which SPAD is going to create cannot be limited to the usual suspects – the business associations, residents associations, and groups of non-public transport users, all with their own axes to grind, chips on their shoulders. While many of these groups mean well and claim to speak on behalf of the public (usually the so-called “lower-income group”) they are usually not public transport users and cannot claim to have the knowledge, experience or expertise to speak for public transport users.
And most importantly, the Land Public Transport Forum cannot be a stage-managed attempt at “public consultation” in which the public are told what the government is going to do, given little opportunity for feedback, and generally not heard.
The members of TRANSIT fiercely wish to protect and preserve our independence, so that we can continue to speak and share the words and opinions of public transport users, raise awareness and educate all stakeholders.
SPAD is creating the Land Public Transport Forum, but TRANSIT is always, and will always be, Malaysia’s first public transport forum.