Thursday, June 10, 2010


I had just known yesterday that my neighbour, Fauzi, is no more driving a taxi.

The cab owner had taken it back. What's his next step? He has no idea at the moment after been driving a cab for almost 20 years.
Prior to this, he was driving lorries north and south of the peninsular but as age is catching up, he doubt of doing the same job.

He did apply to drive  the yellow bus,  but at the basic salary of RM18.00 per day, he has to give it a very deep thought.
Initially, it's hard for me to believe my friend's husband salary as a bus driver driving the Pontian route range at RM25.00 to RM28.00 but seeing they still struggle to put food on the table for the family despite the wife working as a chamber maid, I know that they are telling the truth.

The wife, after working more than 16 years in Seri Malaysia Hotel, take home salary is less than RM1,000.
I cried as I typed the figure RM1,000. In fact, it's less than RM900. (RM1,000 just to make me feel nice). The family, with 5 schooling children, struggled harder when the father was involved in an accident.
He stayed at home for 3 months.


Honestly, I have phobia taking local route bus.
The driver whose bus I was in, kept to his extreme left along Jalan Ah Fook, squeezing into the motorcyclist path that led the motorist lost his balance and fell. It gave the driver and his friend, a bus driver too I supposed, a good laugh.
Where does the laughter will lead them?
From then on, no more short bus trip around JB for me.

Prior to this, I thought a bus card which was sold to me at a bus stop along Jalan Tun Abdul Razak will be a great convenience to me, like the Singapore's ez-link card. Little did I know that I had to travel to the depot for top-up. Where has the bus card led passengers?

Once, while travelling back from KL, the Trans-National bus driver said it's common for drivers to sit on as many as 20 traffic summons.
They were caught in between the number of journeys taken, feeling compassion for passengers and abiding the law. Passengers will definitely want to be dropped off nearest to their destinations but the traffic police will book them for not following the law.


I was at Kampong Melayu when I saw a bus passing through the place.
Oh, it's 1Malaysia bus at RM1.00 going round Giant Supermarket and Larkin Plaza. Will the bus fleet be phased out if 1Malaysia is no more the chanted slogan?

I remembered the time when Larkin Terminal was built, the then determination by the then MB was to compete with the Singapore's bus interchange. The Transitlink bus fleet will liken the SBS.
Other things built and implemented were all about competing, not working hand-in-hand.

Where has all these aspirations lead Johoreans?

About public transport woes, it is endless. Just read today's letter in The Star.
There are 2 letters actually to be read.

Disappointed with bus journey to Singapore                            
SINGAPORE was our first trip after our wedding three years ago. We decided to travel by coach because it was cheaper than flying.
Hence, we went to the Bukit Jalil bus station to book the coach ticket a week before our trip. Everything seemed fine and we were looking forward to the trip. However, it did not go as smoothly as we wished.
On May 31, we arrived in Bukit Jalil around 7.45am to ensure we were on time for departure. We had a very bad morning. Departure was delayed due to insufficient number of passengers. The early passengers waited patiently for the coach to be full. We were supposed to depart at 8.30am but ended up starting the journey at 10.30am.
We couldn’t wait to set foot in Singapore. Another disappointment awaited us at the Larkin bus terminal in Johor. The coach conductor told us to disembark, and he brought us to the RM2.50 Singapore-Johor shuttle bus for travel to Singapore.
We were told that this coach was a direct coach to Singapore. Why were we told to get down from the coach and take the public bus? The assistant conductor dared us to complain, saying that they were not bothered.
I am very disappointed with this kind of attitude and those companies that run their business dishonestly. If as a Malaysian I have lost confidence in our public transport, what will foreigners with similar experiences think of us?
Seri Kembangan.


Get the bus system revving smoothly first
THE Association for the Improvement of Mass-Transit notes that this appears to be a week of major change and announcements for public transport.
We have a new Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha, and the Land Public Transport Commission (Spad) was created on June 1 with Syed Hamid Albar as the first chair.
We also have the recent announcement of proposals for an MRT network in the Klang Valley and a high-speed rail route between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. In addition, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will introduce the 10th Malaysia Plan today.
Despite all these changes, Transit wonders how much effort is being made to shift our public transport industry from an entrepreneurial model to a service-based model.
No matter how much money is invested in mega projects, we will never see an improved public transport system unless there is improved leadership and a real push towards a service-based model.
We can only hope that with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak as Minister-in-Charge, Syed Hamid Albar as chair, and Mohd Nor Ismail Nor Kamal as CEO, the Land Public Transport Commission will be a proactive leadership, with a clear vision for public transport and the confidence and ability to move the industry forward.
Similarly, we hope that Kong Cho Ha, as Transport Minister, will put people first, not companies first.
Before we look at LRT and MRT projects and spending perhaps RM50bil to expand the rail network in the Klang Valley, we must first improve the reliability and availability of the existing bus services in the Klang Valley and other cities throughout Malaysia.
The best way to do this is in two simple steps:
First, Spad must work with the Transport Minister and local and state governments to create Public Transport Organising Authorities for the six largest urban areas in Malaysia – the Klang Valley, Johor Baru, Penang, Kuching, Kota Kinabalu and Ipoh.
The Organising Authorities – which could be government agencies (like the Penang Transport Council), private companies (like RapidKL) or responsible agencies (like the Iskandar Regional Development Authority) – would be responsible for the planning, management and organisation of public transport in their respective regions.
They would work with existing public transport operators to improve the availability and reliability of basic public transport services and expand those services to meet the social and economic needs of each region.
Second, as part of the 10th Malaysia Plan, the Government gives RM1bil to each of the six Organising Authorities to invest this money (and more which they would raise themselves) into creating complete and sustainable rapid transit networks.
If the money is spent in the most cost-effective manner, we can build the complete, reliable public transport networks that our cities need.
Once public transport in these six regions has been stabilised by the Organising Authorities, and a complete rapid transit network is in place, the Government can start looking at larger scale investment projects like MRT and High Speed Rail.
on behalf of TRANSIT.


Anonymous said...

Ummie - Never I wanted to make any comparison between Singapore and Malaysia. However, sad to see with my own eyes - very slow nor nothing much progress in Malaysia.

My second last visit to KL was in 2005 - there was a proposed project building construction going on next to Pudu Raya Interchange. And my last visit was December 2009, that project terbengkalai begitu saja.

Haig Road food and hawker centre in Geylang is getting a new facelift. The construction started mid of 2009 and is expecting to be ready in few months time of this year.


Ummie said...

Project built then maintain (?) it. The (?) is a bigger issue here.

If you are a frequent visitor & is the MACS holder, when was the last time you walk through any of the 3 lanes meant for the Malaysian Automated Clearance System.
Mind you, there's 3 lanes for the PUBLIC TRANSPORT passengers.

You write about Haig Road, my mind is the Great S'pore Sales. Looking forward to the sales but without the crowd. Any suggested place?

Haig Road with the new facelift, I hope will lessen the adverse opportunists there.

Mr. Stupid said...

That's sad. I just hope he finds a better paying job.
The Transit system there seems to be really bad. I can't believe the bus conductor dared you to complain to the higher officials.

Have a good day, Ummie...:)

Ummie said...

It's not about servicing customers.
It's about you need it, take it. If not, just leave it.

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