KUALA LUMPUR, March 16 — Empowering public transport is crucial in overcoming traffic congestion which is seen to have affected workers’ productivity thus resulting in losses to the country, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

He said traffic congestion caused workers to lose a lot of time just to get into office and this was very costly.

“Problems of public transportation and traffic congestion will raise the issue of productivity (and) the country’s productivity will be affected because of the hours wasted by employees to get to work. An interesting study I came across in Bangkok a few years ago showed several billions of dollars were lost in terms of productivity simply because of severe congestion.

“So there, the problem lies in public transportation… as such, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) is also preparing a more comprehensive public transport planning and strategy to be implemented in phases, which will be presented to the Cabinet.”

He said this at the launch of  the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Putrajaya Line Phase Two  (MRT2)  at the Serdang MRT Depot which was also attended by Transport Minister Anthony Loke.

Also present were Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, Local Government Development Minister Nga Kor Ming and Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari.

In the meantime, Anwar said for every project that is being implemented, transparency in maintenance must be prioritised without allowing any room for leakages and corruption to enable a more competitive pricing.

“I am emphasising this because the MOT and strategic aspects of public transport will cost a lot of money, for example the cost of the MRT Putrajaya Line is close to a billion ringgit.

“But if it is managed well and there is transparency in management, it can be cost saving and the funds can be used to develop other small projects,” he said.

He said the assertion was in line with the commitment of the Unity Government as emphasised through the Malaysia MADANI concept on good governance.

Meanwhile, when met after the test run on the new MRT Putrajaya line, Anwar expressed his satisfaction with the management, monitoring and maintenance of cleanliness throughout the ride

“It is hoped that commuters will cooperate in maintaining cleanliness and ensure proper use of the facilities,” he said.


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