Pakatan says willing to help BN improve Perak’s public transport
KUALA LUMPUR, May 31 — Perak Pakatan Rakyat (PR) today offered to help Barisan Nasional (BN) develop the state’s public transport system, claiming the current administration had failed to do so despite its two-year rule.
Former senior state executive councillor Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham insisted today that under PR’s 10-month administration from 2008, Perak’s public transport system had seen a vast improvement.
But since the BN power grab in February 2009, he said, development had come to a near standstill.
“One of the top priorities when PR Perak became the state government in March 2008 was to solve the woes of public transportation in Perak. There were no flight services to Perak and bus services were poor or non-existent in many areas,” he explained.
Ngeh (picture), who is also Perak DAP chairman, said that the PR-led government had “sprang into action” to solve transport woes by initiating a deal with budget airline carrier Firefly to ply between Ipoh, Singapore and Subang, forming the Combined Bus Services Sdn Bhd consortium, initiating efforts to built the Ipoh Central Public Transportation Hub in Meru Raya and developing the Manjung Central Public Transportation Hub in Seri Manjung.
“Firefly is now flying regularly two flights a day in and out of Ipoh,” he pointed out.
Under the Meru Raya hub proposal, he said, 250 buses were to replace the old buses in Ipoh to ply the Kinta Valley routes and other intercity routes in Perak and within Malaysia.
“But more than two years have lapsed but we see very slow progress of the Ipoh Central Public Transportation Hub taking shape. Old buses in Ipoh have yet to be replaced,” said Ngeh.
He also complained that the Manjung hub plan had been terminated shortly after BN came into power.
Ngeh said that last year the BN government had announced a RM70,000 monthly subsidy for a bus company to operate in the Manjung district which was scheduled to commence operations early this year.
“But nothing has materialised. The poor, especially those who are sick, continue to suffer.
“They can’t go to hospital with the cheaper mode of public bus transport. Many have to pay as much as RM30 per trip to the Manjung Hospital using taxis,” he said.
He called on Perak state executive councillor Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon, who is in charge of public transport, to look into the matter immediately.
“But if the BN government does not know how to solve the public transport problem, PR is willing to offer its services for the sake of the people though the state power has been taken away from us,” he said.
The loose PR coalition of the DAP, PKR and PAS won Perak in the 2008 political tsunami but fell from power during the infamous 2009 power grab.