Sunday, April 26, 2009


The traffic woes in the city of Kuala Lumpur is not a recent phenomenon. It had existed for more than a decade, and it gets increasingly worse by the day. It is no longer a joy driving in and out of the city during and after office hours. Highways were constructed within the city, hoping to be a solution to the traffic woes, but the long and massive traffic congestion remains a common occurence.

Just take a look at Jalan Ampang. The elevated highway that passes through Kampung Keramat and exits at MRR 11, was suppose to ease the traffic at Jalan Ampang. But the congestion still remains along Jalan Ampang, especially after office hours. Also, the elevated highway that crosses the junction leading towards Jalan Semarak-Jalan Kampung Baru, and exits in front of the IJN; certainly has not eased the traffic going towards Jalan Pekeliling. Just try driving along these routes at 8 am and 5 pm onwards, and you will understand what I mean.

Even the SMART Tunnel has not really been useful especially in the morning, where the congestion regularly occurs at the tunnel exit in front of the RHB Bank along Jalan Tun Razak. The congestion along Jalan Tun Razak would result in a traffic congestion inside the tunnel itself.

It seems that the newly installed PM Najib only realised the traffic woes in Kuala Lumpur just a few days ago, and I wonder what the minister and including the KL Mayor has been doing all this while? To allow the PM to take charge is just like a Brigade Commander having to take over the responsibilities of the Battalion Commander. The minister in charge and the KL Mayor in particular need to be awakened a bit.

One need to ask what has the minister responsible and the KL Mayor in the past have been doing, or saying to their bosses, knowing fully well that the traffic woes in the city is not a recent problem. The problem, I think is because ministers travel into the city sometimes with escorts, and are chauffeur driven, oblivious to the traffic around them. And worse still, most have their official car windows tinted, and sees virtually nothing outside.

I remembered that the former PM Tun Abdullah Badawi also did what PM Najib did i.e riding the KTM commuter train from Serdang to KL, supposedly to understand the plight of the commuters. And surely he had with him an entourage of ministers and officials. What was the outcome of the ride is not known, and the problem of a congested commuter ride still persist. KTM has tried ways and means to improve their services, but nothing really worked out.What I would like to suggest is for the entire KTM management to study the way the Indian railways operates, as the Indian railways is reputed to be the best managed railway service in the world. Even the European railways cannot beat the Indians in this regards.

And in terms of solving the traffic woes in Kuala Lumpur, one only need to go to Singapore to see how the country manages its city traffic so effectively and efficiently. And please do not do what Khir Toyo did i.e. to do a study visit to some of the finest cities in the world; spend a few million, and only to return with nothing.



Unknown said...

Politicians come and go, Federal Territory Minister came and left, so was Datuk Bandar. Money also came and spent but Kuala Lumpur traffic problems are far from being resolved.

Where do we go wrong?

Traffic volumes in Kuala Lumpur kept increasing but the authorities are always behind time. As an example, they built LRTs and the stations but lack car parks which are conducive to safe parking! New highways were built to ease traffic congessions but all ended up in shifting the "traffic jams" to other choking points!

It appears the traffic improvement planning had been very much ad-hoc, it keeps changing everytime when the PM, Minister or Datuk Bandar changes. The end result? We get nowhere!

Agreed, there had been some improvements but there is far from being satisfactory. Now we have the new PM and a new Minister Federal Territory but the Datuk Bandar is talking about building a multi-story car park at Semua House area!

Can we give YB Raja Nong Chik and Datuk Bandar until next General Election to resolve KL traffic problems? If they fail, they MUST leave their jobs!

Mohd Arshad Raji said...

Dear Mohamed,

There is the saying 'new broom sweeps well'. It's fair that we give the new FT minister and Dato Bandar time to resolve the problem; but not too long please.