PETALING JAYA, 26 May 2009: The Federation of Malaysian Consumer Associations (Fomca) today sent an open letter to the Prime Minister and his cabinet urging them to take immediate steps to improve the public transportation system in the country.
The letter, made available to Bernama, said that despite promises made by the government over the years, the situation had not changed.
“We still find thousands of commuters mainly low-income earners, who have to face all sorts of hardships daily when travelling by public transport be it taxis, buses or trains,” the letter signed by Fomca secretary-general, Muhammad Shaani Abdullah, added.
The letter said public transport should not be a profit-oriented undertaking, rather a social service where the government subsidised the operator.
It said by freeing the operator’s burden of making profit, he could then concentrate on improving the service and providing better facilities to the commuters.
“The fare should be cheap and affordable to encourage more people to use public transport thus reducing congestion on the road,” the letter added.
Fomca also called on the government to speed up the revamping of the mechanism to oversee the improvement in the public transportation system.
“For a start the commercial licensing board should be reconstituted with transport management experts both from the government and private sector, consumer and NGOs representatives,” it said.
It also wanted the board to be free from political interference, so that it could make independent decisions for the good of the industry. — Bernama