Sepanjang tahun 1970an hinggalah awal 2000, Tentera Udara DiRaja Malaysia sentiasa mempunyai beberapa buah helikopter Sikorsky S-61A Nuri dan Aérospatiale Alouette III yang sentiasa bersedia untuk memberi perkhidmatan kepada Orang Asli di Semenanjung Malaysia, sama ada untuk kecemasan perubatan mahupun untuk membawa mereka keluar untuk menyertai program-program JHEOA (kini JAKOA) di bandar-bandar besar.
Kini, tanggungjawab tersebut juga ditanggung oleh Unit Udara Jabatan Bomba dan Penyelamat Malaysia (JBPM) yang sering kelihatan menerbangkan helikopter-helikopternya di kawasan pedalaman.
Baru-baru ini, cuaca buruk telah menyebabkan jalan-jalan yang menghubungkan Gua Musang dengan empat pos Orang Asli di pedalaman terputus, menyebabkan seramai 242 orang pelajar Orang Asli terkandas dan tidak dapat pergi ke sekolah. Para pelajar tersebut adalah dari Pos Belatim, Pos Balar, Pos Gob dan Pos Bihai. Dari Pos Bihai melibatkan mereka-mereka dari Kampung Laklok, Kampung Tendrik, Kampung Bihai dan Kampung Hak.
JBPM telah menggerakkan dua buah helikopter dari jenis Agusta Westland A109E dan Agusta Westland 139 untuk membantu menghantar para pelajar tersebut ke sekolah. Pesawat-pesawat tersebut dipandu oleh Penguasa Kanan Bomba I Roslan bin Aziz, Mejar Leong Cheong Meng TUDM, dan dibantu oleh penolong juruterbang Timbalan Penguasa Bomba Faizal bin Latif dan Timbalan Penguasa Bomba Sharizal bin Sahari. Turut serta ialah tiga orang Kuartermaster Udara iaitu Penolong Penguasa Bomba Ubadah bin Suib, Pegawai Bomba Kanan I Mohd Norhasrul bin Mohd Noordin dan Pegawai Bomba Kanan I Safuan bin Mohamad.
Pesawat jenis Agusta Westland A109E telah mula berkhidmat dengan Unit Udara JBPM pada tahun 2003 manakala Agusta Westland A139 pula mula diterima pada tahun 2010. Unit tersebut mengoperasikan sebanyak lapan buah helikopter pelbagai jenis. Unit ini telah bermula dengan empat buah helikopter Mil-Mi-17-1 buatan Russia yang mula diterima pada tahun 1998. Ini diikuti oleh dua buah helikopter Agusta Westland A109E, dan dua buah Agusta Westland A139. Salah sebuah helikopter Agusta Westland A109E tersebut telah terhempas dalam cuaca berkabus di FELCRA Kuala Kaung, Lanchang, Pahang semasa membuat pengawasan dari udara pada 16 September 2010. JBPM juga telah memesan dua buah helikopter jenis Agusta Westland A189 pada tahun 2016.
Walaupun cuaca tidak menentu, kedua-dua buah helikopter tersebut telah berjaya membawa keluar seramai 52 orang pelajar dari Pos Balar dan Pos Belatim ke Padang Sivik Gua Musang, manakala 44 orang pelajar dibawa keluar dari Pos Cemal ke Pos Balar pada hari pertama Ops Murni. Operasi itu telah bermula pada jam 10.10 pagi dan berakhir pada jam 5.10 petang akibat cuaca yang bertambah buruk.
Walaupun Ops Murni bertujuan untuk membolehkan para pelajar Orang Asli hadir sessi persekolahan, operasi tersebut diselangi beberapa penerbangan ihsan membawa Orang Asli yang mempunyai sakit kritikal ke Hospital Gua Musang. Ini menunjukkan kesediaan Unit Udara JBPM untuk bertukar mod operasi demi nyawa dan kesejahteraan masyarakat walaupun nyawa sendiri dipertaruhkan demi menyelamatkan orang lain.
Ramai di kalangan rakyat Malaysia yang tidak tahu mengenai perkhidmatan-perkhidmatan yang disediakan oleh kerajaan untuk masyarakat Orang Asli. Disebabkan ketidak-pekaan ini, kerajaan sering dicemuh dan dituduh tidak mengambil berat masalah yang dihadapi oleh masyarakat tersebut. Hakikatnya, untuk pihak JBPM sahaja, sebanyak 47 penerbangan ihsan telah dibuat pada tahun 2015 untuk menerbangkan seramai 111 orang pesakit dan pengiring. Sebahagian besar adalah dari kalangan masyarakat Orang Asli.
Oleh itu, jangan mudah menuduh bahawa kerajaan tidak mengambil berat terhadap masyarakat luar bandar terutamanya Orang Asli kerana juruterbang-juruterbang seperti PgKB I Roslan dan Mejar Leong sentiasa bersedia memberi keutamaan kepada kesejahteraan masyarakat tersebut.
Kurniawan bin Hendrikus (not his real name) who now lives in Kampung Gayaratau off the Ranau-Tamparuli road fears for the future if Pakatan wins Sabah.
“I worked in Semporna and Tawau in the 1990s and used to fear walking alone at night as these towns virtually belonged to ‘Malaysians’ from the Southern Philippines,” he recalled. “Now, the same man who treated Sabah like rubbish is heading the Opposition to try oust the Barisan Nasional.”
Sabah has been plagued by illegal immigrants for over three decades, causing socio-political and economic problems for the state. Although the numbers vary from thousands to millions depending on who you ask, all agree that the influx of immigrants especially from the Southern Philippines happened during Mahathir’s premiership, a move said to dilute the influence of the majority-Christian Kadazan-Dusun-Murut (KDM) communities.
Mahathir must be brought to account for “Projek IC”, the massive operation that flooded Sabah with illegal immigrants in exchange for Malaysian citizenship in the move dubbed ‘Project IC’ said Madius Tangau, the MP for Tuaran.
Madius who is also the President of the United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) added that the Sabahans want the PM then (Mahathir) who has admitted to giving out the fake ICs to be held responsible.
Mahathir blamed Anwar Ibrahim, who was his deputy at the time of the ‘Project IC’ taking place, for being directly involved in ‘Project IC’ and for acting without his (Mahathir’s) knowledge, the same blame game he uses in the Scorpene drama where he blamed Najib Razak, who was then the Defence Minister, for paying RM3.7 billion without the knowledge of the Minister of Finance, who also happened to be him (Mahathir).
A day after blaming Anwar, the latter returned the ball to Mahathir’s court saying it was Mahathir who was behind ‘Project IC.’ Anwar pointed out that there was even a taskforce set up by Mahathir to oversee the awarding of Malaysian citizenship to immigrants in Sabah.
Pakatan’s hint that Mahathir would be able to restore Sabah’s rights had Sabah’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) scoff at them for “daydreaming.”
Its President Teo Chee Kang reminded Pakatan that it was under Mahathir’s rule that the state suffered greatly, and lost some of its autonomy.
“I read in the papers that several Pakatan leaders from Sabah recently flew all the way to Kuala Lumpur to see Mahathir on Sabah rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963. I find it ironic. I would like to remind them that it was during Mahathir’s administration in 1983 that our state powers to regulate the distribution of gas and electricity were taken back by the federal government. In the 22 years of Mahathir’s rule we lost numerous state rights to the federal government,” he added.
Dr Jeffrey Kitingan who is Sabah’s STAR Chairman said it was Mahathir who introduced ‘Project IC’ and told him (Jeffrey) not to ‘teach’ the people what they didn’t know (Sabah rights).
‘Project IC’ was also called ‘Project M.’ ‘M’ is for ‘Mahathir.’
Sabah also lost a lot under Mahathir’s rule. In 1983, Mahathir made plans for Labuan to be handed over to the Federal Government. Labuan is an important hub for the oil and gas industry. In order to make oil revenues from Labuan totally the Federal government’s, Mahathir conceived the plan for Labuan to become a Federal Territory during a Barisan Nasional meeting in 1983.
Harris Salleh, who was the BERJAYA Chief Minister of Sabah then agreed to hand over the island over to the Federal government without any deliberation. No referendum was made for the proposal.
In August 1983, Tun Datu Mustapha who was USNO’s President made a call to Labuan’s USNO division to reject the proposal and demonstrate against it. In February 1984, Mahathir proposed for the expulsion of USNO from the Barisan Nasional. On 21 February 1984, the Labuan USNO division voted to dissolve itself in support of the handing over of Labuan to the Federal Government. On 27 February 1984, UMNO Supreme Council voted for the expulsion of USNO from the Barisan Nasional. The expulsion of USNO from the BN took effect on 15 April 1984, one day before Labuan became a Federal Territory.
“We are not giving away our territory because the Federal Government is in the position to develop the island,” Harris said in his defence.
As a result of his subservience to Mahathir, Federal allocation to Sabah increased tremendously during the years when BERJAYA was in power. Despite this, in 1986 the poverty level in the state remained at 33 percent, which was higher than the national average of 18.
The transfers to Sabah from the Federal government dropped in 1986 when PBS under Joseph Pairin Kitingan won the state.
It was during the Mahathir-Harris master-and-servant relationship that Sabah also almost lost its right to determine its own Immigration policy.
Pairin, in reminding Harris on why he was ousted in 1985 as Chief Minister, reiterated that it was under the latter’s Berjaya Government that the state’s rights were slowly eroded until very little was left.
“The Berjaya Government was on the verge of surrendering Sabah’s immigration powers before it was ousted from power,” said Pairin in a bombshell revelation.
Even Lim Kit Siang who is Mahathir’s now best-friend-forever wrote that Mahathir must explain the attempt to undermine Sabah’s rights to its own immigration policies.
He wrote: “As the then Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir – who is still very active and alert in the public domain, even plotting to scalp another Prime Minister – should throw light on another long-kept secret in Malaysia on the circumstances and history of attempts in his first four years as Prime Minister in the eighties to abolish Sabah’s state immigration powers as revealed by Joseph Pairin.”
This goes to show that other than Mahathir neither Lim Kit Siang nor Anwar Ibrahim or their respective parties (PRIBUMI, PKR, DAP) can be trusted to look after Sabah’s rights. But what about Shafie Apdal, once UMNO’s rising star from Sabah?
Shafie’s WARISAN, is seen by many in Sabah as being a proxy of Mahathir’s PRIBUMI. Many also question Shafie’s honesty in wanting to help Sabahans.
“People ask what he did to develop Sabah when he was in the federal Cabinet. Did he do anything to fight for Sabah autonomy? Even the other opposition leaders are asking these questions,” said Unimas don Dr Arnold Puyok to The Star.
Three village chiefs, Sosor Bin Aling from Kg Mempulut , Simon Sinsuran from Kg Dalit Stesen and Lidy Bin Lunggiri from Kg Pohon Batu said in the 1980s when Mahathir was in power, roads were never repaired and electricity did not reach them.
“Along the way, we were still using kerosene. Road conditions were extremely severe and there was hardly clean water to use. The primary schools were still as in the days of the British. However, the current Prime Minister had given them access to electricity and water supply is currently under installation, ” they said.
They said compared to the last 22 years with the last eight years, Najib Razak as the Prime Minister had helped them to get basic amenities like roads, schools and a clinic.
“We therefore fully support the government led by Najib. He is one of the best leaders compared to Mahathir. Logs were felled at the time of Mahathir and our area was also handed over to the major companies and we did not get any results,” they lamented.
Simon thanked Najib as he approved the construction of SMK Dalit which served about 30 villages.
After building SMK Dalit, their children no longer need to go to Keningau to study at secondary schools.
He hoped Najib would upgrade the clinic at the Dalit station.
Similarly, in Kabulu, they asked for a clinic for the good of the people in the area.
With also the toll-free Pan Borneo Highway which is already under construction set to improve communications and livelihood of Sabahans (as well as Sarawakians), it is only right for Sabahans to know that progress will only happen by having an administration that truly cares for its people and delivers promises.
Not the ones who use arm-bending solutions or those who now turn a blind eye on the said solutions just because they want to try ride on the dictator’s self-imagined ‘popularity.’
Back in the 1970s and at least until the 1980s people in Europe thought that Malaysians live on trees. That statement still holds true for the many whom have yet to evolve from their Homo habilis stage.
Four months ago some made fun of the Indians in India for vandalising the Tejas Express, a new and modern high-speed train that plies between Mumbai and Goa.
Malaysians may have a literacy rate of 94.6 percent according to UNESCO but all that means is that only 29.5 million out of 31.19 million Malaysians can read. It does not mean that the 29.5 million are better educated than the 1.69 million who cannot read well. Being able to read does not equate to being educated. It just means that smarter Malaysians have an IQ of a genius gorilla – points below the average human IQ, while the average Malaysian have the IQ of the smartest chimpanzee which is 40.
Take for example motorists who flout the law by driving at speeds in excess of the legal limit, or those who continue to use the emergency lanes after being given numerous warnings, or those who think that Malaysia is just one big rubbish dump.
I am sure you have seen the Facebook posting by Datuk Najmuddin Abdullah, MRT Corp Strategic Comunications and Stakeholder Relations Director on the number of vandalised properties just five days into full MRT SBK line operations. I cannot believe how monkeys who call themselves Malaysians are still able to live in this modern world without having ever to evolve into proper human beings.
I will share you some of the photos that have been shared with me a few days ago:
Even the Rukunegara wall at the Merdeka MRT Station was not spared damage. According to RapidKL staff, parents allowed their children to practice wall-climbing there. If I were there I would smack the children and throw their useless parents onto the electrified tracks. At least it would help minimise the carbon footprint!
And believe it or not, as hard as concrete may be, nothing is Malaysian-proof. Even the hardest of concrete can be chipped by ordinary Malaysians.
And up until last weekend, MRT Corp has had to fork out a sum in the region of RM10,000 to repair SOME of the damages. Not all could be repaired. This is money that could have been put to better use elsewhere to help provide better services to the riders.
And just when you think people have learnt and slide somewhat out of their simian form, this morning I received a WhatsApp message containing damages done to toilets at the MRT Maluri station.
Perhaps, it is time for Prasarana to increase its auxilliary police patrols at stations and pay attention to the CCTVs. Nab these monkeys and charge them in court for committing mischief. If the damage done costs more than RM25, then the offender is liable to be punished by a jail term that may extend to five years or with fine or with both.
If it is RM25 or less, then the offender is still liable to a jail term of not less than one year but may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both.
Never give face to monkeys because they will usually get worse if they do not get the harshest form of punishments. If this is not done, we shall continue to have them live amongst us and claim themselves to be “educated” Malaysians while their behaviour reflect that they still live on trees.
But trust me on this: there will be a group of lawyers who oppose the government who will defend the action of these monkeys. That is why they think they are always right and it is their right to behave like scums.
According to the logic of empty-headed Syed Saddiq, “Criticisms levied against you show that the other party is afraid of what you are doing right.”
The Mass Rapid Transit, a project that is to be a total game-changer, came under a lot of criticism from the Opposition. Despite the negative campaign to discourage the masses from enjoying the benefits of the Najib Razak administration’s project, Phase One opened in December 2016 with trains plying from Sungai Buloh to Semantan. Within 27 days of opening, student Miss Ng Zhi Wei became its one-millionth rider.
Come Monday, 17 July 2017, Prime Minister Najib Razak will officiate the opening of Phase Two of the MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line (SBK Line) that will allow riders to continue the journey all the way to Kajang instead of just ending the journey at Semantan. At 4pm, the gates will be opened for that.
The opening signals the end of the construction, testing and commissioning phase of the project that had lasted six years. The project was announced in June 2010 and approved by the government in December of the same year, while construction began in July 2011. Up until June 2017, the total accumulated manpower for the project was 435,774 persons while the number of manhours poured into the project up until June 2017 stood at more than 103.5 million. I was one of them.
To learn the examples of how the MRT project can benefit the people including the removal of 160,000 vehicles off the roads in the Klang Valley, you can read that up in a previous article of mine. Web portal The Mole carries a further clarification by MRT Malaysia on the issue. In today’s artice, I just want to take you on a virtual ride on board the MRT from Semantan to Kajang to experience what’s in store for you after 4pm on Monday.
The first underground station on the Kajang-bound train is the Muzium Negara station that connects you to the Muzium Negara (of course), hotels St Regis, Hilton Sentral and Le Meridien, as well as the nearby office buildings.
Muslim riders to and from the Muzium Negara station also have access to the prayer room at the Hilton Sentral. There is an exit connected to the link to the KL Sentral.
The Muzium Negara station also connects riders from the LRT Kelana Jaya line, the ERL (KLIA/KLIA2), the KL Monorail, as well as the KTM Komuter to the destinations offered by the MRT SBK line.
Back inside the station, the columns are adorned with pictures of things in the past. Each MRT station showcases what its name stands for.
Next stop is the Pasar Seni station where riders are connected to the Klang Bus Station, Petaling Street (Chinatown), Pasar Seni (Central Market), Pudu Sentral, Dayabumi, Masjid Negara, the old KL Railway Station and the Majestic Hotel which are all within walking distance.
When you walk towards Chinatown, or if you are on your way down to the MRT trains, you will not miss this view of the park outside the station.
On the concourse level of the Pasar Seni station, take a moment to view the maps of the developments through time in the vicinity of the Gombak river which cuts through the city near Pasar Seni. Being a fan of the history of Kuala Lumpur, I spent some time looking at the maps.
Next station is where I think many will flock to just to see this wall:
Aptly named as it is located in the vicinity of Stadium Merdeka where the Independence celebration took place on 31 August 1957, this station also connects riders to the Stadium Negara, Victoria Institution, Malaysian Basketball Association (MABA) stadium, and the southern end of Chinatown.
Najib Razak was here on the 12 July 2017 where he spend a few moments at the Jalur Gemilang (National Flag) wall that depicts the Tunku during the moment he shouted “Merdeka!” on that historical morning.
The Rukunegara was formulated and instituted by royal proclamation on 31 August 1970 in reaction to the racial clashes that killed many the year before. It is being recited in schools during assembly, but I am not too sure if it is still being done, or if anything is done to explain to the pupils what each principle stands for. As evident nowadays, we have begun to see that our society has lost its cohesiveness, blatant disregard for the rule of law, growing disbelief in God, and no loyalty to King and Country except if money can be made from the country.
Next stop will be the favourite of the ladies because of this:
The Bukit Bintang MRT station’s entrance/exit is right in front of Lot 10 and connects riders to the KL Monorail and the Bukit Bintang shopping heaven. Urban photography enthusiasts too would love this station because of the view it offers.
The station itself is bathed in vibrant colours, giving you a taste of what can be found on the street level.
Next station is the Tun Razak Exchange where the Islamic Financial hub will be once completed. This station also connects riders to the Indonesian embassy, Wisma Technip, JCorp, RHB headquarters, Pasar Rakyat and Zouk.
There are two other underground stations namely the Cochrane station which is nestled within the Jalans Cochrane, Shelly and Peel rectangle, and is just across from the Cheras IKEA, and also the Maluri station which is next to AEON Maluri and the LRT Ampang line.
One other favourite station would be the Stadium Kajang station, which is the penultimate stop for the Kajang-bound train. This station is within walking distance to three of my favourite satay joints namely Gerai Sidek Hj Rono (Stall No.2 at the Medan Sate in front of the Kajang Metro Plaza, Satay Emas at the Medan Sate next to the station, and of course the most commercialised of them all Satay haji Samuri next to the Kajang stadium.
My only complaint is that both Medan Sate are in bad condition. The Majlis Perbandaran Kajang should do something about it now that riders from the northern Klang Valley and potentially all the way from Tanjung Malim and Gemas have raill access to these places.
And imagine now the number of businesses, old and new, that would benefit from the MRT SBK line. Not forgetting how much riders can save commuting to work starting on the 18 July 2017 than to drive, as posted by this person below:
It has been proven that the Najib Razak administration is doing all it can to not let the global economic slowdown or the rising costs of living affect the rakyat and improve businesses as well as job opportunities that have been out of reach of many. Already office buildings have sprout like mushrooms along the MRT SBK line.
And when you leave Kajang taking the Sungai Buloh bound train, don’t forget to enjoy the view. JOM NAIK MRT!
In three days time the Sungai Buloh to Kajang (SBK) line of the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) will come into operation. Works Package Contractors that have won the contract to construct the respective packages on the Sungai Buloh – Serdang – Putrajaya (SSP) of the MRT will commence their works there in full swing. The Project Delivery Partner as well as the Supervising Consultants (PDP/SC) will complete the handover of construction-related documents to MRT Corp. All that will be left of the PDP/SC are those overseeing the warranty period.
A project envisioned to help millions of the Klang Valley’s urban and suburban commuters get from one point to another easier will now bear fruit. Every day, tens of thousands of workers from as far as Senawang, Tanjung Malim and Pelabuhan Klang, can take the KTM Komuter and work or find work in places like Kota Damansara, Mutiara Damansara, TTDI, Pusat Bandar Damansara, and Cheras without having to switch to buses or taxi, or drive all the way to their destination.
The MRT anticipates a drop of 160,000 cars enterng Kuala Lumpur and its surrounding areas daily. The only thing that would prove to fail the statement would be our own attitude towards public transport.
This article may come at a point when things related to a recent hoo-haa have begun to die down. Nevertheless, I had to do some checking before writing this post.
The first hoo-haa is related to the claim of having 160,000 lesser cars entering Kuala Lumpur etc. Many ridicule the statement and ask if MRT Corp has 160,000 parking bays or more. I sometimes wonder if there is anything at all inside the cavity in between their ears.
While the MRT has several Multi-Storey Park and Ride (MSPR) complexes, the idea of having the MRT is for commuters to leave their vehicles at home, not to worry about the “escalating cost of fuel and living,” get on board the feeder buses to the nearest MRT station to get to work.
Previously, someone living in Tanjung Malim working in Kota Damansara’s Sunway Giza for example, would have to take the KTM Komuter and alight at Sungai Buloh, then take either a bus or a taxi to get to office while spending time in traffic. Now, all he or she has to do is to alight the KTM Komuter at Sungai Buloh and get on one of the MRT trains and alight at the Surian station and take a MRT feeder bus if the last mile is a bit far for walking. Commuters now have access to jobs at places they previously would not consider because it may involve relocating the family.
The next hoo-haa involves the recent visit by Najib Razak and family, and a few selected social media influencers. There was a claim that passengers were pushed back by Prasarana officials from the front of the coach to the rear. I find this amusing to say the least. To understand why I laughed at this claim, you must understand the current phase of the MRT service.
Phase one of the MRT SBK line commences at the Sungai Buloh station, passes Kampung Selamat in Sungai Buloh, Kwasa Damansara, Kwasa Sentral, Kota Damansara, Surian (Sunway Giza), Mutiara Damansara (IKEA), Bandar Utama (One Utama), TTDI (near GLO and KPJ Damansara), Phileo (Section 16/Eastin Hotel), Pusar Bandar Damansara, and terminates at Semantan (until Sunday 16 July 2017).
The Prime Minister and his entourage boarded the train at the Pusat Bandar Damansara station AFTER office hours. At one station before that (Phileo), Prasarana had cleared the front portion of the train.
You must understand several more things – each train has the capacity to transport 1,200 commuters, three times the number each LRT train can carry. Each train has four coaches. Every day after office, more commuters take the Sungai Buloh-bound train than the one going to Semantan. I asked staff from Prasarana and MRT Corp, as well as the Special Branch officers who were there that day, all of them put the number of commuters headed towards Semantan station that day at “ten or less.” I would concur as I have taken this route at this very time.
The “push back” which obviously was for security reasons, involved getting those on board to clear the area in the vicinity of the first door only. One official who entered through the third door said, “There were about ten people or less who were seated near the second door. They got off at the last station.”
So, it was not like hundreds of people were pushed back to the fourth coach, but just ten people or less in a train with the capacity to carry 1,200. How far back do you think did they have to go?
“Passengers were asked to move to the back of the train.” Pathetic bitch.
And this was all caused by Malaysiakini’s (as usual) absence of journalistic ethics, reporting only half-truths, inciting people to hate anything not controlled by the DAP. Of course, they have the KPI set by the NED to meet to guarantee operating funds.
Recently I wrote how the DAP is filled with morons and gave two examples.
Today,I shall give you another.
DAP’s Yeo Bee Yin said no to the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) back in March 2017. As a matter of fact, this one other dunce from the dungu party asked Selangor NOT to help out with the ECRL project when, as she said, it could be completed at almost half the price.
Those who voted her in are equal idiots or worse for letting themselves be duped by this slightly more intelligent moron. This is because she compared the cost of constructing the ECRL to the project in Tanzania where the new line will be built next to the existing line, no greenfields, and that there are no tunnels to be constructed. Being the typical drama queens, her Pakatan friends dubbed the ECRL the most expensive railway project in the world.
The first phase of the ECRL will run 600 kilometers of tracks, electrified, with 50 kilometers of tunneling. The second phase will link the ECRL from the Gombak Intergrated Transport Terminal to Port Klang, a further 88 kilometers. The cost is estimated to be at RM55 billion (USD12.6 billion). This translates into about RM80 million (USD18.4 million) per kilometer.
As a comparison, the Madrid-Volladoid line in Spain costs USD5.48 billion (RM24 billion) for a 177-kilometer distance which comes up to about USD30 million (RM130.4 million) per kilometre.
The Bremmer rail project in Switzerland cost USD6.56 billion (RM28.52 billion) for a 55 kilometer-line or RM518.55 million per km.
I don’t know how Yeo Bee Yin and friends could claim that the ECRL is the most expensive rail project. Then again, they also fielded a calon hantu (phantom candidate) who is an Australian citizen as a candidate in last year’s Sarawak state elections.
Suddenly, out of the blue, the ECRL is a meaningful project for the people of Selangor, said Yeo Bee Yin. She said this when questioning why, if the ECRL is to be the land bridge connecting Kuantan port and Port Klang, is the ECRL terminating at the Gombak Intergrated Transport Terminal?
She said that a crucial part of the argument behind the need for the ECRL seems to have been taken “off the map” and then insinuating that the Barisan Nasional-led government is punishing the people of Selangor by terminating the project at the GITT.
“It will give a lot of economical and social impact to the people of Selangor. Hence, the state government and Selangorians deserve to be better informed about the project,” she said. “According to SPAD personnel, the ‘missing link’ from Gombak to Port Klang, which is at least another 60km, will be in the second phase of the project.”
She made this conclusion after viewing the public display of the ECRL at the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) headquarters where, according to her, only 16.7km of the Selangor portion appeared showing the route from Gombak into Pahang, but not the important segment that connects it to Port Klang.
She also asked if there was an agenda by the Federal government in leaving the Pakatan Harapan-led Selangor government from the decision-making process.
Which begets the question: Did the DAP-led Pulau Pinang state government include the Federal government when it decided to have a tunnel to link the island with Butterworth? Isn’t that a state government project while the ECRL is a Federal government project?
Most of you would also by now ask why is the ECRL terminating at the GITT instead of at Port Klang?
Remember what I wrote above not too long ago, that the first phase terminates at the GITT while the second phase connects the GITT to Port Klang?
The answer appeared on the 13th May 2017:
China Communications Construction Company Limited China (CCCC) has signed an MoU with Malaysia Railway Link Sdn Bhd (MRL) for a 88-kilometer rail link from the GITT to Port Klang. This is one of the reasons the Prime Minister is in China.
“Phase 2 will provide the vital connection to Port Klang. Ultimately, the ECRL underlines the importance of infrastructure to Malaysia and its people,” said Tan Sri Irwan Siregar, the Secretary-General of the Treasury who witnessed the signing ceremony. “Once completed, the people in the east coast of Peninsula Malaysia will be connected to the central region and west coast with important stops such as industrial hubs, airports and tourism zones located along the way.”
I would like to remind Yeo Bee Yin to leave the matter for the professionals to handle. Just look into simpler matters such as why are her voters double and triple parking their vehicles at Damansara Uptown. She has been the ADUN for that area for almost one term and yet she can’t teach her voters manners and solve the traffic woes there.
Or if she wants to look smart, she should ask Tokong about the RM305 million study that has yet to be submited to the Works Ministry.
Long before most netizens and majority of the current workforce were born, DAP’s Emperor Lim Kit Siang complained on 1st September 1977 about the lack of public transport and increase in fares by now-defunct well-known bus company, Sri Jaya. Four days later, he called for the resignation of both Ganie Gilong of Sabah who was the Transport Minister, and Dr Goh Cheng Teik who was the Deputy Transport Minister to resign.
Political and monetary instabilities as a result of the international monetary crises in the early 1970s and the oil crisis in late 1973 contributed to the worldwide recession, stagflation and very slow recovery. Consumer Price Index (1967 = 100) jumped by 10.5 percent in 1973 and 17.4 percent the following year. In 1977 it was down to 4.7 percent, the lowest since 1973, and the CPI figure never went down further until 1984.
It was a time when Malaysians could hardly afford anything. In order to assist the rakyat, Tun Abdul Razak set up the Restoran Rakyat in August 1973. It was where a nasi lemak breakfast would cost only 20 sen and a simple lunch of rice, fish curry and vegetables would cost only 80 sen. Of course, 20 sen those days is like RM2.00 of today but any balanced meal today that costs less than RM10.00 per plate is greatly welcomed.
Also introduced by Tun Razak was the BMW – Bas Mini Wilayah, in September 1975. The fare to any destination was 40 sen then and was only increased to 50 sen in 1991 and 60 sen two years later. The BMW services were discontinued in July 1998 when it was replaced by Intrakota and subsequently RapidKL in 2005.
Today, as a result of a great foresight by the current government, land public transport and infrastructure have improved in leaps and bounds. According to a research report published on the 4th April 2017 by the Financial Times, Malaysia’s transport users get the best deals in ASEAN.
The graph shows that Malaysian commuters spend about USD12 per day on commuting as opposed to Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines where commuting could cost up to USD20 per day, the only exception being Thailand where it could get to USD15 per day.
Malaysia is also ranked in the Top 20 from 138 nations in terms of transportation infrastructure, according to the World Economic Forum.
Malaysian spending on transportation rose to 0.7 percent of the GDP in 2016 compared to 2015, and the Financial Times research report attributes this to Prime Minister Najib Razak who continues to make infrastructure a key priority.
While the completion of the MRT SBK (Sungai Buloh-Kajang) Line 1 targetted for July 2017 and the construction of the MRT SSP (Sungai Buloh-Putrajaya) Line 2 and LRT 3 now taking place, urban and suburban dwellers in the Klang Valley can expect a much economical and more integrated mode of getting around, while feeder services such as the ETS, KTM Komuter, and the soon-to-be-expected HSR and double-tracking projects will allow growth in other areas and allow for cross-country commuting to and from work.
Projects like the ECRL and the Pan-Borneo highway will provide for the growth and availability of jobs not only in the urban areas but also in greenfields as well as pockets of rural towns where meaningful economic activities have thus far eluded.
With a projected population of 32.5 million by 2030, elaborate and efficient land public transport systems must be in place to ensure efficient mobility within and between spatial conurbations across Malaysia while the introduced National Land Public Transport Master Plan (NLPTMP) will ensure continual improvements and additions are made to the land public transport systems.
Malaysians should be thankful that plans have been made to improve transportation infrastructure instead of constantly complaining.