Speech For Minister Of Finance II Yb Dato’ Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah At The Launch Of Uitp Asia Pacific Seminar At Mandarin Oriental Hotel Kuala Lumpur
SPEECH FOR MINISTER OF FINANCE II YB DATO’ SERI AHMAD HUSNI HANADZLAH AT THE LAUNCH OF UITP ASIA PACIFIC SEMINAR ON 24 NOVEMBER 2009 AT MANDARIN ORIENTAL HOTEL KUALA LUMPUR
1. YBhg Tan Sri Izzuddin Dali, Chairman, Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad
2. YBhg Dato Seri Haji Zakaria bin Haji Bahari Secretary General, Ministry of Transport.
3. YBhg Dato’ Idrose Mohamed, Group Managing Director, Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad
4. Mr Hans RAT, Secretary General, UITP International Association of Public Transport (UITP)
5. Dr EUM Sung Jick, Chairman of Asia-Pacific Division, International Association of Public Transport (UITP)
6. Tuan Haji Anuar Kassim Director General of Railways Malaysia
7. Delegates of the UITP Seminar, members of the Media, ladies and gentlemen,
Assalamualaikum and a very good morning to all.
1. I thank Rangkaian Pengangkutan Integrasi Deras Sdn Bhd (RapidKL) for inviting me to this important seminar today. This Seminar is indeed timely in view of the announced ambition of our Prime Minister to transform this country into a high income economy and the launch of the 10th Malaysian Plan next year.
2. Today’s Seminar is an excellent platform for worldwide co-operation, business development and the sharing of know-how between the 3,100 members from some 90 countries.
Ladies and gentlemen,
3. When I was a undergraduate at Universiti Malaya here in Kuala Lumpur, I depended very much on public transportation. To me, Pudaraya was more than just the City’s central bus terminal; it was, in my mind, the centre of urban activity. It represented to many people like me, from all over Malaysia, their first impression of city life and with it, the promise of an exciting future and a better life, for themselves and their families. Public transportation was necessary for us to navigate our lives in Kuala Lumpur.
4. Indeed, one of the most important roles of public transport is its contribution to the reduction of urban poverty both directly and indirectly. Indirectly, transportation can open up new areas of development while directly through its impact on the daily lives of those whom cannot afford private means of transportation.
5. Thirty years forward, the role of public transportation and especially urban transportation is even more critical in Kuala Lumpur and increasingly so in other areas of Malaysia. Today, public transportation needs to be seen in a wider context. Due to environmental concerns, traffic congestion and limited availability of physical space, public transportation must soon be seen as the primary choice of urban mobility, while private modes of transportation as a viable alternative, and not the other way around. This requires a paradigm shift in all of us, from the middle-class commuters, to city and town planners as well as the national policy makers.
6. Malaysia’s transport sector accounted for 40% of our final energy use . Development of sustainable urban transport will help us in reducing emission as proven in studies done in other countries that have successfully promoted the use of public transport.
7. Public transport is indeed the most efficient people-mover. A mass rapid transit or metro train carries an average of 1,100 passengers at any one time during the peak period while a single deck bus can carry about 80 passengers. Contrast this with the average occupancy of about 1.5 persons per car. This means that it will take more than 50 cars to move one bus-load of passengers, and more than 700 cars to move 1 trainload of passengers. Imagine the tremendous strain on the road network if everyone were to choose to travel by car.
8. We also need to make our roads safer. Motorcycles accounted for 66% of all road casualties in Malaysia. Nearly half a million people die in road accidents and up to 15 million people are injured in urban road accidents in developing countries each year .This is a sad fact. We have to make our roads safer. We need to encourage greater usage of our public transportation system.
9. In this regard, we must plan and build the public transport system from our commuters’ point of view. This means catering to our people’s needs from the time they leave their homes to the time they arrive at their destinations, point to point. Besides expanding the system capacity, we will invest in the quality of the public transport system and services to enhance the total journey experience of commuters and make public transport an attractive option.
10. I am pleased to note that Prasarana is making progress in achieving this objective. Prasarana will be introducing longer, four-car trainsets for the Kelana Jaya LRT line – a key metro system in Kuala Lumpur. The first of the four-car-trains is now undergoing tests and will be operational for public usage in December. This important investment will certainly ease the already heavy volume of commuters that are using the line today.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
11. As we aim to achieve the status of high income economy, we need to remind ourselves of the role the urban environment plays in serving as a natural eco-system for the creativity and innovative economy. Studies have proven that an urban environment is a “hotspot” for the development of creativity and innovation . The environment needs to be rich in amenities, affordable and with high connectivity.
12. Acknowledging that an efficient and effective public transport system would improve productivity, our Prime Minister announced the formation of Public Land Transport Commission (SPAD) as a single authority to monitor and enforce service standards and provide a long term plan for public transport. SPAD is expected to be operational next year.
13. Nevertheless, the development of a world class urban transport system cannot be borne by SPAD alone. The responsibility needs to be carried by the local authorities in regards to urban land use, the Ministry of Finance in regards to fiscal policies and incentives as well as local communities and civic leaders to provide inputs into the process and most importantly by the private sector that this responsibility ultimately rests.
14. I am confident that Prasarana will effectively fulfill its role in ensuring the efficient operations of a public transport system that supports economic and population growth and consumer demand & expectations. In this respect, I also fully expect Prasarana and Rapid bus systems play a major role in fulfilling the Government’s NKRA to increase public transport usage from 16.0% to 25.0% by the year 2012.
Ladies and gentlemen,
15. I look forward to a more integrated and user-friendly public transport system that places people at its heart. Just like me as student many years ago, there are millions more who would depend on the public transportation system to support their daily lives. What we plan, what we do and what we build have a direct impact on their lives. We need to make it attractive, clean and user-friendly for us to capture as many passengers as possible, catering to a wide range people of different ages, physical abilities and income groups. Let’s do it for our community, our friends and our families.
16. I welcome the Mr Hans Rat, Seceretary-General and members of UITP and all delegates to Malaysia. I hope you will find time to explore this beautiful country of ours.
17. Congratulations to RapidKL for taking the initiative to host this three day event. I am sure it will go a long way in getting us there, to where we want to go.
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