Many Malaysians Are Still Monkeys

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.

Screenshot of a web portal condemning Indians for vandalising the Tejas Express

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.

The rubbish that was driving this car treated Malaysian like one big garbage 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:

Damaged toilet for the disabled at one of the MRT stations
Scratched seats – do these people have iron butt or something?
Rubbish thrown onto the roof of the Bukit Bintang MRT station
A disused spotlight and a broom – just how did they get there?

And do you remember this wall from a previous posting of mine?

The Rukunegara (National Principles) wall on the concourse level of the Merdeka station
Chipping from the damaged Rukunegara wall

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.

A concrete bench is chipped

Netizens and news portals screamed for blood while BigDog seemed to at a loss for words to describe the horrors inflicted by these monkeys.

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.

A door handle of one of the toilet booths’ door that has come off at the MRT Maluri station
What did they shit? Rocks?
Damaged pipe at one of the sinks 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.

A monkey Malaysian – picture courtesy of TV Smith

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.

The MRT Park And Ride Issue

The MRT Park & Ride has come under criticisms over its parking rates

I received a message via WhatsApp about a person who experienced a shocker at one of the MRT Multi-Storey Park and Ride.  The following is the message:

Park n Ride service at MRT station – users beware !!! 😡😡😡

Last night, July 19th, I parked my car at the park and ride MRT station at Phileo Damansara, n took MRT ride to Pavilion to watch a movie. Came back, I paid MR21.00 for parking for about 5 hrs !!!
It was supposed to be MR4.30 per entry. 
Checked with parking staff, was told I was among many drivers who kena “hangtam”. 
To qualify for MR4.30 per entry, one MUST use TnGo card at car park entrance, MRT ride going, MRT ride returning & car park exit. If you did not use TnGo card for any of the 4 points above, you pay the per hour rate !!!
Felt cheated, as there was no such notice at car park or MRT ticketing counter.

As usual, I would seek clarification from the source, which I am now sharing with you:

MEDIA RELEASE

SAME TOUCH ‘N GO CARDS NEEDED FOR PARKING AND TRAIN TO GET SPECIAL RATES
Kuala Lumpur, 21 July 2017: Mass Rapid Transit Corporation Sdn Bhd (MRT Corp) wishes to address several issues which have arisen following the opening of Park and Ride facilities in conjunction with the commencement of full service of the MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) Line.
MRT Corp has received several complains from users of the various Park and Ride facilities along the SBK Line of them not being charged the RM4.30 per entry rate and having to pay more despite using the MRT service.
MRT Corp Director of Strategic Communications and Stakeholder Relations Dato’ Najmuddin Abdullah said in order for users to enjoy the RM4.30 per entry rate, the user has to follow several steps.
Firstly, he said users must use the same Touch ‘n Go cards which they had used to enter the Park and Ride, to get on the train by tapping it at the MRT station fare gates.
“The same card used to enter the Park and Ride has also got to be used at the fare gates of the station before boarding the MRT train because this is the only way that we can differentiate who has parked and ridden on the train, and who has not,” he said.
Najmuddin said those who fail to use the same Touch ‘n Go card would unfortunately be charged the full standard hourly parking rates despite taking the train by using a different card or by buying a token.
“Cases of those who used the Park and Ride who were charged the standard hourly rate was mainly due to this,” he said.
In addition to having the use the same card at the Park and Ride and to ride the train, Najmuddin said there were also several other steps which needed to be followed.
He said on the return journey, users must also ensure that the same Touch ‘n Go card is used to exit the station, and then exit the Park and Ride.
“Please take note that tapping in during the first journey, and tapping out during the return journey, has to take place at the same station, which is the MRT station that is attached to the Park and Ride.
“We have had instances where a user took the train at a station attached to a Park and Ride, and then returned to the park and ride by bus. This will result in the standard hourly rate being charged,” he explained.
In addition to this, on the return leg, there is a time limit of two (2) hours between a user tapping out of the fare gates at the MRT station and to exit the Park and Ride.
Users should also be aware that if they use the same Touch ‘n Go card for the Park and Ride to tap in at the fare gates at a station, and then exit the fare gates at the same station without getting out at another station, they will also be charged the standard hourly rate.
“What this means is that if a person enters a station, takes the train everywhere but does not get out at any station, then returns to the station where he or she began the journey and tap out there, he or she will not get the special rate,” he explained.
Dato Najmuddin said MRT Corp will add more signage at the Park and Ride to explain what was needed to be done so that users could enjoy the RM4.30 per entry charge for those who used the MRT service.
“In view of the situation, we urge those who have used the Park and Ride and complied with the steps mentioned above except for the step about using the same card to ride on the train to seek refunds from MRT Corp,” he said.
Please email to mrtparkingfeedback@mymrt.com.my or call the MRT Corp Parking Operations Unit at 03 – 2081 5328 or 03 – 2081 5330.
Najmuddin said this only applied to the Park and Ride at Sungai Buloh, Phileo Damansara, Maluri, Taman Midah, Taman Suntex, Bandar Tun Hussein Onn, Bukit Dukung and Sungai Jernih.
For the other parking facilities along the SBK Line such as at Kwasa Damansara, Kwasa Sentral, Bandar Utama, Pusat Bandar Damansara, and Kajang; Najmuddin said they were owned and controlled by external parties
“Users can contact their operators of these car parks directly for any issues to be addressed,” he said.
The parking rates for the Park and Ride facilities are attached.
-ends/-

I hope the above explanation is satisfactory.

MRT – Towards A Better Life

Walking 21 kilometers on the viaduct from Taman Pertama in Cheras to the Kajang station to ensure workers worked safely was part of my life in the MRT project
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.

Ng Zhi Wei became the one-millionth passenger on the MRT on 11 January 2017, 27 days after opening (cource: MRT Malaysia)
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.

The Muzium Negara will see an increase in the number of visitors
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 exit leading to the prayer room at the Hilton 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.

A photo of a locomotive which you can see in real life at the Muzium Negara
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.

The MRT Pasar Seni station is connected to the LRT Pasar Seni station
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.

View of the park outside the MRT 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.

Mid 19th century development
Early 20th century
Mid 20th century (mind the step-ladder and pail of tools. Final touches were being put here)
Early 21st century
Next station is where I think many will flock to just to see this wall:

The Rukunegara (National Principles) wall on the concourse level of the Merdeka station
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 two visionaries
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.

We Her Peoples uphold the pledge of the five principles of the Rukunegara
Next stop will be the favourite of the ladies because of this:

See where you exit
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.

Bukit Bintang/Sultan Ismail junction and the KL Monorail
The station itself is bathed in vibrant colours, giving you a taste of what can be found on the street level.

MRT Bukit Bintang station
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.

TRX station and its Islamic motif
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.

Satay Emas offers 19 types of satay! Truly a satay heaven!
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!

The view from the Taman Midah station on the Sungai Buloh-bound train

Festering With Hatred

The special Jalur Gemilang MRT train – photo courtesy of Dato Najmuddin Abdullah

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.

Justified? I don’t think so. This is the baseless hatred towards anything Najib Razak talking

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.

An MRT train. Note how it has four coaches and each coach has four doors

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?

Inside an MRT train – how far do you think ten people need to go when pushed back?

It is a case of making a mountain out of a molehill with the intention to make those alike incensed because here is some wimp who was “inconvenienced” at having to move to the rear of the train, those who hate anything that the government does unless it is a government that has Lim Kit Siang or Lim Guan Eng manning the puppet string.

An example of a “Hate anything Najib” zombie

“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.

MalaysiaKini is very into nation-disintergration

I mentioned above that I had to seek clarification on the physical situation of the event in order to understand, and make you understand the circumstances.  Unlike some portal that writes before the brain could start functioning, then corrects its article only after thousands express their rage on social media.

How Financially-Strapped Malaysians Celebrate Ramadhan

It has been a while that I have actually driven late at night in Kuala Lumpur, a city that city-dwellers claim to have become more and more unaffordable to live in.  So, I took a drive last night just to see how it looks like mid-Ramadhan.  I shun driving through KL towards the end of Ramadhan because there would be a mad rush for season end bargains.  The middle of Ramadhan should be alright for a drive.

I was wrong.  I used to be able to park my car in front of the embassy of Nepal on Jalan Ampang (behind St John’s primary school) and walk across the Klang river for a plate of roti canai on previous years’ Ramadhan night.  However last night, the jam started just after the intersection between Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Ampang as cars tried to get to the Masjid India and Capital Square areas.  Parked cars lined the sides of Jalan Ampang from across Sunway Tower all the way to Jalan Melaka!

A friend who works at a very famous textile mall in the Masjid India area confided that sales this Ramadhan has so far exceeded the total sales for Ramadhan 2016.  And it has only been 15 days since the beginning of Ramadhan with another two weeks to go.

I have not gone to see the sales of Naelofar scarves.  If hundreds of dUCk scarves costing RM800 each could all disappear from the shelf within five minutes, I expect a mad scramble for the Naelofar ones which have gone on sale one week before Ramadhan even started!

What about the Ramadhan buffets?

Ramadhan buffets are generally dearer compared to last year.  I have had the chance to sample some by both invitations and personal visits.  I have not seen one that is not full, be it at one that costs RM65 per head or the one that charges RM218 per head.  And most are not corporate invites as they throng these venues in shorts and t-shirts, and often than not I see long tables of families, not co-workers, enjoying their Ramadhan buffet.  Even university students swamped the RM65 ones, something unthinkable back in the mid-1980s.

At one venue the hotel car park was full that I had to park next to the waste bins near the hotel’s goods delivery area!  I was lucky to have gotten that spot as I see scores of people having to walk from afar after parking their car by the roadside.

So, how oppressed are the Malaysians financially?  Is it true that it used to be better two Prime Ministers ago?

Consumer spending in Malaysia over 10 years (Trading Economics/Department of Statistics Malaysia)

If you look at the graph above on consuer spending in Malaysia over the last ten years, despite claims that RM1 could get you many things back then compared to now, consumer spending in Malaysia has been on the upward trend.  If you look at your social media accounts, even university students can afford to go on a holiday in Bali and Lombok now when the farthest they would go back in the 1990s was a weekend in Port Dickson.  Students in the 1990s could hardly afford a flight to Kota Kinabalu.

Consumer spending increased to RM152 billion in the first quarter of this year from RM150 billion in the last quarter of 2016 and averaged RM101.7 billion from 2005 until the first quarter of 2017.  The lowest consumer spending by Malaysian was in the second quarter of 2005 when it was RM56.8 billion and peaked at RM153.5 billion in the second quarter of 2016 – exactly the period when whining Malaysians complained without facts that the country is on the brink of financial doom.

As a matter of fact according to the Department of Statistics of Malaysia, the median and mean monthly salary and wages paid to employees in 2016 have increased by 6.2 and 6.3 percent respectively compared to 2015.

This is also helped by the fact that sales tax has gone down from the 10 percent sales tax (and 6 percent service tax) that were not fully remitted to the government due to the suspected underdeclaring of sales and profits, to just 6 percent Goods and Services Tax.

Sales Tax in Malaysia (Trading Economics/Malaysian Inland Revenue Department)

Corporate Tax, despite claims that the government has been charging corporations more, has been brought down to just 24 percent in 2016 from 30 percent back in 1997.

Corporate Tax in Malaysia from 1997 to 2016 (Trading Economics/Malaysian Inland Revenue Department)

Even the April 2017 numbers for Year-to-Date car sales figures in Malaysia had increased compared to the corresponding period in 2016.

And the government continues to make life more affordable in especially Kuala Lumpur, the city many big spenders complain is getting expensive to live in.  The Light Rapid Transit system that was originally built especially for the 1998 Commonwealth Games, has now been extended in service to connect Puchong and Putra Heights, while by 17 July 2017 the Mass Rapid Transit Line 1 will connect Sungai Buloh to Kajang directly meeting the KTM Komuter in Sungai Buloh and Kajang, while meeting directly with the LRT at Pasar Seni, and is within walking distance with the KL Monorail at Bukit Bintang.

The LRT will further extend from Bandar Utama to Johan Setia, south of Port Klang, and will be passing Tropicana, Glenmarie, Shah Alam stadium, UiTM, Bukit Raja, Sri Andalas and Bukit Tinggi.  The construction of LRT extension (known as LRT 3) has already commenced.

The MRT Line 2, which has also begun its site clearing phase will be from Sungai Buloh to Putrajaya, passing through Sri Damansara, Kepong, Jinjang, Sentul, Titiwangsa where it will meet with the KL Monorail and LRT Ampang/Seri Petaling lines before going through Kampung Baru, Ampang Park, KLCC East, TRX, Bandar Malaysia, Kuchai, Bandar Tasik Selatan where it meets with the LRT, ERL and KTM Komuter, Serdang, Seri Kembangan, and Cyberjaya.

Meanwhile KTM Komuter will have a service linking its station at Subang Jaya with the Subang Skypark Terminal.

These are all ways initiated by the government to make connectivity better and cost of living lesser for the people of the Klang Valley.  At least, no false promises such as abolishing tolls have been made, such as the one made by the DAP-led state government in 2007 which have not only gone unfulfilled, but also reneged on by introducing not only tolls for Pulau Pinang voters to shoulder, but also having to foot higher parking charges statewide.

Statement by the Pulau Pinang state government promising a tolled highway

So, stop complaining saying things are unbearably expensive because figures show more people can afford to splurge, and stop telling lies in this holy month of Ramadhan, for those who claim to be Muslims or decent, refined and educated human beings.

Whine Even When Others Think You’re Lucky

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.

Money, Income and Prices of Malaysia (1966-89) from the book The Monetary and Banking Development of Singapore and Malaysia by Sheng-Yi Lee

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.

The Restoran Rakyat, near today’s Dataran Merdeka – Tun Razak’s way of helping the rakyat in KL to overcome inflation (courtesy of harithsidek.blogspot.com)

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.

The notorious BMW – BERNAMA Images/Paul Tan

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.

Graphs comparing Malaysia and the rest of the ASEAN-5 in terms of spending on transport as well as the WEF’s ranking for the ASEAN-5 transportation infrastructure (Financial Times)

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.

Veteran ATM Dipolitikkan

Sejak akhir-akhir ini grup-grup WhatsApp Veteran Angkatan Tentera Malaysia yang saya sertai mula dihujani dengan mesej-mesej politik memainkan semula isu-isu lama yang telah terjawab dan terbukti fitnah.

Semalam tersebar semula video di mana Rafizi Ramli menaburkan fitnah mengatakan bahawa MRT Malaysia adalah milik Najib Razak. Jarang sekali saya bertukar pendapat di dalam grup-grup WhatsApp tersebut melainkan untuk bertanya khabar dengan mereka yang pernah berkhidmat dengan saya dahulu namun kali ini saya terpaksa menerangkan kerana saya pernah bekerja di projek KVMRT Lembah Klang.

Dakwaannya yang dikemukakan oleh veteran yang tularkan video tersebut ialah Menteri Kewangan (Diperbadankan) ialah syarikat milik satu-satunya Menteri Kewangan, dan MRT Malaysia adalah 100 peratus milik syarikat tersebut.

Saya memberitahu beliau dan lain-lain ahli grup WhatsApp tersebut bahawa Malaysia mempunyai dua orang Menteri Kewangan. Menteri Kewangan (Diperbadankan) ditubuhkan melalui Akta Menteri Kewangan (Pemerbadanan), 1957.  Ianya sama seperti Menteri Besar (Diperbadankan) contohnya di negeri-negeri seperti Perak dan Selangor, dan juga Perbadanan Menteri Besar Kelantan – bukan dimiliki mana-mana individu dan ahli-ahli lembaganya terdiri dari pegawai-pegawai kerajaan. Barulah mereka faham mengenai perkara tersebut.

Saya tidak menyalahkan mereka.  Hampir kesemua mereka lebih berumur dari saya. Sebahagian besar menyertai Angkatan Tentera Malaysia sebagai anggota lain-lain pangkat di suatu zaman yang tidak memerlukan mereka mempunyai tahap pendidikan yang tinggi.  Adalah lebih mudah untuk memanipulasi mereka ini.

Semasa mereka berhenti, Jabatan Hal Ehwal Veteran ATM masih belum tertubuh.  Mereka ibarat terbiar menghabiskan sisa-sisa hidup setelah berhenti dari perkhidmatan.  Tidak ada siapa yang menghiraukan mereka mahupun datang memberi penerangan mengenai isu-isu semasa kepada mereka.

Pada tahun lepas apabila pemenang pingat skuad Olimpik diberi ganjaran oleh kerajaan, ada pihak yang telah mencucuk para Veteran ATM untuk bangkit bertanya kenapa mereka tidak diberikan imbuhan setimpal.  Mereka merasakan bahawa pengorbanan yang telah mereka berikan tidak dibalas dengan setimpal.

Program 1MVHRP adalah di antara keistimewaan yang disediakan untuk Veteran ATM

Maka timbul di kalangan veteran itu sendiri penghasut-penghasut yang menanam benih-benih kebencian.  Ramai Veteran ATM itu sendiri tidak tahu-menahu mengenai keistimewaan yang diberi oleh Kerajaan kepada mereka sebagai tanda penghargaan buat mereka dan keluarga.

Di antara keistimewaan yang disediakan untuk Veteran ATM

Saya telah menjawab perkara ini dengan agak panjang lebar pada ketika itu.  Mana-mana Veteran ATM sama ada pegawai mahupun lain-lain pangkat yang telah menamatkan perkhidmatan dan tidak dibuang dari perkhidmatan layak menerima kad pengenalan di bawah dan juga keistimewaan yang disediakan untuk para Veteran.

Namun masih tidak ada usaha dari pihak Kerajaan mahupun Barisan Nasional khususnya untuk mengadakan pertemuan untuk menerangkan isu serta polisi bukan sahaja kepada para Veteran ATM tetapi juga kepada pengundi akar umbi terutamanya di kawasan luar bandar.

Veteran ATM sama ada berpencen mahupun tidak, boleh menikmati tambang pesara KTM

Mereka-mereka inilah yang terdedah kepada dakyah-dakyah serta propaganda fitnah setiap hari.  Yang ironiknya, mereka inilah yang dipolitikkan oleh golongan yang marah jika Veteran ATM dipolitikkan.

Dan jangan kita lupa apa tugas Rafizi Ramli dan para pembangkang: