Friday, June 27, 2008


New commission to oversee public transport programs

• A commission will be established to plan and coordinate all public transport programmes and initiatives in the country, according to the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) of the Prime Minister’s Department. The commission will also be responsible for regulating the public transport sector and developing a more efficient and integrated public transport system, it said in the MidTerm Review of the Ninth Malaysia Plan (2006-2010). It said: “Efforts such as increasing coverage of the urban rail transit system and building more integrated transport terminals as well as improving the efficiency of the (KTM) Komuter, bus and taxi services will be undertaken to achieve the target ratio of private vehicles to public transport of 70:30 by 2010, particularly in the Kiang Valley.” The development of various transport infrastructure will also be taken into consideration, providing greater accessibility and more covenient public transport facilities to people with disabilities, it said. The EPU said the coverage of the Komuter service will be extended with the completion of the Sentul-Batu Caves electrified double-tracking rail project, which is expected to benefit about 8,800 commuters per day. The Kelana Jaya Line of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) will be extended from Kelana Jaya to Putra Heights, and the Ampang Line from Sri Petaling to Putra Heights, it said. Connectivity will be provided at Putra Heights by an interchange station for -both lines. It said the insufficient road space to cope with the rapidly increasing number of private vehicles and inadequate public transport services will be addressed systematically. On roads, it said a study is being undertaken to identify additional road requirements to improve the road network and accessibility in Sabah and Sarawak. Other road developments will include the second phase of the East Coast Highway, from Kuantan to Kuala Terengganu, and the Senai Desaru Highway. The EPU also said that rural air services will be expanded to improve access to remote areas in Sabah and Sarawak, and further improvement of the low-cost carrier (LCC) terminals will enable expansion of facilities and provide greater access to low-cost travel to a larger segment of the population. Touching on family development, the EPU said a National Family Policy will be formulated to integrate action to strengthen the family institution. “The shrinking family size and rising number of older persons will require formal institutions to complement traditional family responsibilities,” it said. The EPU said more one-stop family service centres will be established to provide the necessary support services, including counselling, parenting skills, training and reproductive health services. The private sector will be encouraged to implement programmes to assist families and individuals in need as part of their corporate social responsibilty initiatives, it said. On child safety, the EPU said an early childhood care and education policy will be formulated to provide the framework for the development of children from birth to four years.