As part of a new vision for Malaysia, some are already imagining a changed physical landscape that would involve the people reclaiming our streets from cars. Jeyakumar Devaraj reports.
Is growth boon or bane? Can change be but a double-edged sword? Nicholas Chan examines this question in the light of urban development in Penang.
The Penang Forum Steering Committee opposes the proposed road-based undersea tunnel and the state government’s emphasis on highway construction over improvements in public transport (The tunnel would be the fourth cross-channel link, after the ferries and the first and second Penang bridges.)
We need to bring together a coalition of individuals and groups who are committed to sustainable public transport and put it on the national agenda, asserts Jeyakumar Devaraj.
People must be at the centre of the planning process and must participate in it, says Lim Mah Hui. They cannot be relegated to a footnote or as an after-thought.
Yap Soo Huey urges us to hop on a bus to reduce congestion. Decongesting traffic, she says, is just a state of mind.
While supporting the ban on throwaway plastic bags, Kanda Kumar points out that this move alone is not going to reduce our carbon footprint by that much.
Instead of asking for change, perhaps if we begin working as though change is near and is about to happen anytime now, the future will seem less distant, says Yap Soo Huey.
Another good reason why we need better public transport: a new study reveals that exposure to traffic congestion can worsen infant health, reports our correspondent.
Come 1 August 2007, Penang will have a new bus system. The authorities must involve civil society in the state in the planning for the new bus service, says Choong Sim Poey, in an open letter to Penang Chief Minister Koh Tsu Koon and Teng Hock Nan.