Is there any hope of a world-class public transport?
DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls on the Government to review the role and effectiveness of the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (CVLB).
What has it been doing in the efforts to make public transport efficient? How integrated has the transport been or will be?
Dr Tan made this call when he took part in the debate on the Supplementary Supply Bill in Parliament on 2 and 3 May, 2006.
The Government has expressed its desire to make the public trransport efficient in the past decades. For example, private companies such as Park May and Intrakota were formed to take over from family-owned bus companies that had been in operations for many years. Companies such as Tong Fong and Len Bus in Kuala Lumpur ceased to exist. In the Klang Valley, only Selangor Bus and Lian Seng remain, plying on limited routes. Despite the fanfare in the initial period, Park May and Intrakota failed miserably.
The Government has bailed out these companies including Putra and Star for the Light Rail Transport (LRT), pouring in billions of ringgits, over eight billion. It has formed such a company as Rapid KL to integrate buses, LRT, Monorail and Commuters. It creates Transport Fund, hoping to use the RM4 billion from the reduction of petroleum subsidy. World oil price has gone up further, to over US$70. There is no more saving from the reduction in subsidy. Where does the Government get the money for the fund?
What is the true part played by CVLB? Previous bus companies have failed. Can the public-funded Rapid KL survive without big subdidy?
The Entrepreneurs' Development and Cooperative Ministry scarcely gives additonal permits to private bus operators such as Selangor Bus that has existed for 60 years. Even diesel subsidy to deserving bus companies shows disparity with that given to fishermen. Subsidy of 15 sen per litre is given to private bus companies whereas RM1 per litre is given to fishermen.
What is CVLB attitude towards companies such as Selangor Bus and Lian Seng? Is it the intention of the Government to get rid of private bus companies?
While protecing the interest of the public, in particular the low-income group, there should be no wastage of public fund. Efficient private operators should be encouraged, not punished.
Let us review the role and the effectiveness of CVLB in the creation of world-class integrated public transport.