Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Set up State Council on Transportation: CASH


The Consumers Association of Sabah and Labuan (CASH) has urged the Government to form a State Council on Transportation. “I have submitted, a letter to the Minister of Transport, Datuk Ong Tee Keat, together with a ‘Memorandum to the Federal Minister of Transport on Mass Commuter Transport System (MCTS)’ to demand improvements to the transport system in Sabah,” its President, Datuk Patrick Sindu, said here yesterday. The transportation of goods to and from Sabah where the freight charges are quite exorbitant consumers here would face higher prices than the rest of the country. The scenario has been with us for a few decades and raised by us repeatedly without any concerted effort to resolve this. ‘For example, air fares to Labuan are extraordinary high for 30 minutes,” said Patrick. There is also no properly developed public transport system by the Government and the role played by the private sector is “below expectations”, he said. for the quality of service, which lacks punctuality, reliability and cleanliness in the public buses, school buses and private taxis while almost all the taxi drivers are foreigners,” he said, adding the mini buses are also lacking in safety and reliability as most of the drivers are also foreigners. “The lack of proper urban, sub-urban and rural roads are giving a range of perennial issues and the cost of such transportation is high and not so reliable, while parking in urban areas, especially in multi-storey buildings is inadequate,” he said. Patrick said mass commuter to the private sector alone for various reasons, so the Federal Government must provide the impetus to build a network of mass commuter transport while the proper bus services need to be expanded to cover a wider area in Kota Kinabalu. “We know there is an urgent need for such a mass commuter system here as, soon as possible as the crude fuel can reach US$200 per barrel soon and Malaysia is a net importer of fuel. “By then, most people would not be able to afford personal cars and of course the alternative would be the buses while bicycles and animal carts would appear on the roads,” he said.

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