In appreciation of Penang state govt

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Aliran
welcomes and appreciates the Penang state government’s extension of
support to the Citizens for Public Transport (Cepat) in their
campaign for an efficient and affordable public transport system in
the state.


YB
Chow Kon Yeow’s expression of support for Cepat’s proposed legal
action against the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (CVLB) for
neglect of its statutory duty is a refreshing change from the
habitual resistance and lip service of former BN state government
representative Dr. Teng Hock Nan and the CVLB.

Aliran
is also heartened to know that the Pakatan Rakyat state government is
prepared to take the issue of the CVLB’s slothful neglect of its
public statutory duties to Parliament and to express ‘no
confidence’ in the CVLB.

We
also wish to refute CVLB chairman Markiman Kobiran’s statement that
he has not been given any evidence of the unsatisfactory public
transport situation in Penang. The CVLB chairman is reminded of the
April 2007 meeting in the Penang state government’s Komtar office.
Hard documented evidence was provided by Cepat members with a
Powerpoint presentation and statement of the problems by Cepat
coordinator Dr. Choong Sim Poey at that meeting.

The
meeting with the CVLB chairman was, regrettably, less than amicable,
with government officials taking a high-handed stance and resorting
to less than courteous responses to Cepat members in this dialogue.

Let
chairman Markiman be reminded also that Cepat had invited him to come
to Penang several times before he apparently consented to visit the
state. And that he had demanded, or rather ‘commanded’ Cepat’s
representatives to go to his ex-constituency in Hulu Langat,
Selangor, to discuss with him the transport problems in Penang.

Penangites
have waited 15 years for proper public bus transportation and an
efficient public transport system. The reaction of Penangites when
Rapid Penang first started running was that of utter disbelief.
People actually wondered if the new public bus transportation was
really there for them to use and how long it would last. Given the
inconsistency and record of poor maintenance of public facilities by
the former BN State government, this was understandable.

Markiman
Kobiran and the CVLB have been given sufficient opportunity to
alleviate and improve the situation of the public transport chaos in
Penang and should now take responsibility for permitting it to
worsen.

The
CVLB is also responsible for allowing the flouting of licensing laws
that support and perpetuate the ‘pajak’ system. It does
not even seem to have helped those companies engaging in such illegal
bus leasing to increase their profits or put better buses on the
road. These companies should be re-educated in good, clean,
law-abiding business practices that would prove far more profitable
than the malpractices they have adopted.

In
contrast, the new PR Penang government has shown itself more for the
public interest and the interest of the State, and has, amongst other
things, started off on the right footing. We hope this positive
attitude of making the public interest a priority will continue.

Angeline
Loh

Executive
Committee Member.

9
April 2008.

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