Front Page: Peak hours levy - KL flirts with congestion fees

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Peak hours levy: KL flirts with congestion fees

19 Dec 2006
Minderjeet Kaur

KUALA LUMPUR: Motorists used to stewing in the capital’s worsening traffic jams can look forward to an easier ride but it may come at a price.

On his first day at work, Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Ab Hakim Borhan said the time for road or congestion charges — much discussed and long in the pipeline — has finally arrived with the city’s improved public transportation.

Vehicles entering the city centre during peak hours will have to pay a levy. But the new Datuk Bandar’s proposal differs from the restricted zones of Singapore and London, where congestion charging has dramatically freed up traffic and reduced pollution.
… more here and here

And before we forget, welcome aboard, Datuk Ab Hakim!

Posted in: Front Page

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Conference on Transportation and Education for Disabled Persons in Malaysia

Lift van from Mobiliti at the BAKTI-MIND Exhibition

The BAKTI-MIND Project organised a conference on education and transport at Bangunan Siti Hasmah from December 17 to 20, 2006. The theme of the BAKTI-MIND 2nd Annual Conference is “Empowering Persons with Disabilities (PWD) through Information Provision” which aimed at “Bridging the Critical Gaps in Transportation and Education for PWD in Malaysia.”

The current hot issue is accessible public transportation. This is the line that connects all the dots for disabled persons living in the community. Public transport is crucial to the lives of disabled persons. It allows them to go to school to get an education. It allows them to get to work and be gainful employed. It allows them to lead an active social life. It allows them to fulfil their cultural, political and religious aspirations. In short, being able to move around freely is, among others, the key to a gratifying life for disabled persons.

The three foreign speakers on transport spoke at length about alternative transportation for disabled persons. This mode of transportation is mainly door-to-door or point-to-point service using modified taxis or vans with lifts to ferry specifically wheelchair users, generally people with mobility impairments and other forms of disability. At the same time, Malaysian speakers shared about the state of public and alternative transportation in the country in relation to disabled persons, and also the infrastructure needed to make the entire system effective and practical.

Persatuan Mobiliti Selangor dan Kuala Lumpur is one of the only two groups providing door-to-door transport service for disabled persons in Malaysia currently. At RM3 per trip to anywhere within the Klang Valley, one can see that this service is heavily subsidised. Undeniably, they are doing an impressively good job in providing the transportation needs of disabled persons. Nevertheless their service is limited from nine to five on weekdays only. What happens to those who need transport after-hours and on weekends?

Public transport for the mobility-impaired such as buses and urban rails should be the main mode of transportation because of their vast network and resources. Alternative transport such as accessible taxis and lift vans can play a supplementary role by working on routes not served by public transport and for specific needs that cannot be fulfilled by public buses and trains.

The burden to provide accessible transport to disabled persons should not be left solely on the shoulders of Non-Governmental Organisations and a few private entities. Instead, the government should be proactive in drawing up a sustainable public transportation policy to ensure that no one community is marginalised or inadvertently left out. Technorati Tags: BAKTIdisabledMINDPeter Tantransport

Posted in: Issues

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Appeal for Help

A reader of this blog Judie Teh is appealing for help for her sick father who is now in Kampung Segamat Baru in Johor. He was evacuated to this village when Segamat was affected by the floods last night. This village is now cut off by floodwaters and Judie’s father is running out of medication. (Mr Teh is a diabetic and is recovering from a stroke)

Judie who is located in Kuala Lumpur is trying to get medication to her father but to no avail. She has tried contacting the Red Crescent but they could not be reached.

If there are any blogger who knows someone or an organisation who can get into Kg Segamat Baru, please call her. You could help save a life. Her number is 016-2872191.

Help us to lend a hand by also spreading the word/blogging about this so this message may reach out further.

Judie just called with good news. A local clinic in Kg Segamat Baru apparently had some supplies of the medication for Mr Teh and he is now is good hands. Thank you for everyone who responded to the call. In times like this, bloggers can do a lot to assist each other. From Monster bloggers, our prayers are with those still cut off by the floods. Thank you.

So, have you been up to mischief?

This is interesting…

Adultery on the rise as women look for ‘love’

By : Minderjeet Kaur and Jennifer Gomez
KUALA LUMPUR: “Your cheating heart” could easily be the theme song for some couples these days.

It appears that more marriages are on the rocks because of extra-marital liaisons.

But here is the shocker: More women are now cheating on their husbands.

This has to be qualified, however, as they are usually the ones who were cheated first by their husbands.

Malaysian women are increasingly refusing to take being cheated lying down.
Marriage counsellors are noting a hike in the number of working women seeking professional help to sort out troubled marriages.

More here

What say you?

Sick nation: Non-communicable diseases affect 11.6m

It was a rainy Monday morning when I went to the mamak restaurant nearby my office for my usual roti kosong and nescafe ais. The shop owner accidentally spilled my morning coffee and dhal all over the plastic bag it was contained. I had to wait for another 10 minutes for them to replace my breakfast. To top it all off, I spotted the NST front page screaming that I may have NCD. Can Mondays get any worse?

(Actually I am sure it could.)

Sick nation: Non-communicable diseases affect 11.6m

KUALA LUMPUR: Seven out of 10 Malaysian adults suffer from at least one non-communicable disease like diabetes, hypertension or cancer.
Latest Health Ministry statistics show that 11.6 million of the 16 million adults nationwide are sick with an NCD.

And by all predictions, the numbers are going to get worse.

The ministry is predicting that the number of Malaysians with NCD is expected to increase to 13 million by 2015.

Health Ministry Deputy Disease Control Director (NCD) Dr Zainal Ariffin Omar blam-ed the situation on the lifestyle of Malaysians, which included higher use of tobacco, unhealthy diets and inactivity.

He said changes in the economic, social and demographic aspects of Malaysian life had led to a rise in NCD.

Raja Nazrin: Allow only honest officials to serve the nation

I’ve always liked the Raja Muda of Perak. So here’s another one of his inspirational speeches that perhaps could be… looked into?

KUALA LUMPUR: People without integrity, honesty and morality should be prevented from holding public office.

The Raja Muda of Perak Raja Dr Nazrin Shah said the fight against corruption should see good governance with figures in authority being qualified for such positions.

He said the corrupt should be held in contempt by society.

“Those with a chequered past or clear evidence of questionable morality should be prevented from taking office.

“There should be zero tolerance for corrupt practices,” he said in his lecture entitled “Towards a Decent Social Order for All Malaysians” at the Islamic Arts Museum yesterday. ( Story link )

Brief highlights from the First Malaysian Student Leaders Summit 2007

He’s at it again! This time the Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Dr Nazrin Shah says,

“The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It guarantees the rights of every Malaysian. The integrity of that document must be protected at all cost.

The Constitution was a cleverly crafted document which clearly provided for adequate checks and balances against excesses through the separation of powers between the executive, the legislature and the judiciary, each protected from encroachment by the other, he said.

“It has often been said that many a misunderstanding may be avoided if principles embodied in the Constitution are adhered to strictly. Upholding the rule of law is paramount.” ( Story link )

Indeed, I have not heard consistent clear reasoning from any leaders for the longest time, on any topics. When was the last time you heard something that did not contain warnings, threats, name-callings, keluar dari negara ini, act of God, [you name it] ?

You can read the whole speech from this link. One good word of advise from his keynote address, “Let us not be naive in thinking it is all a rosy picture. There is still much room for improvement.”

Another ‘highlight’ is the following:

Students boo over remarks that they can freely express views

KUALA LUMPUR: Boos and catcalls greeted Datuk Rafiah Salim when she said public university students had the freedom to express their thoughts and ideas.
Several hundred dissenting voices rang out when the Universiti Malaya vice-chancellor, when taking a question from the floor, said there was “no such thing as students being unable to address their concerns”.

Hearing their disapproval, Rafiah retorted: “Behaviour like this is exactly what causes people not to respect you. You won’t even give me a hearing. And you won’t get respect.

Heh, I would have loved to be there.

Student may face music over ‘Negaraku’ rap video

If you are a savvy netizen, you may have been aware of the a blogger/ rapper who goes by the handle ‘namewee‘. He is a young Chinese boy from Muar, rather talented in my opinion, and his first video posted on YouTube was a rap song he created about ‘Muar Chinese’. You can view the video here.

While his first video gained attention from the media (he was featured in an article in The Star), his second more popular video (he also has a slew of other songs) is causing a ‘ruckus’ with the authorities.

PUTRAJAYA: The Malaysian student in Taiwan who used Negaraku in a Mandarin rap video clip may be in trouble.

Police are considering action under the Sedition Act against the 24-year-old man, who goes by the name of “Namewee”.

Deputy Internal Security Minister Datuk Johari Baharum said yesterday that police would study the six-minute video clip on YouTube.

“We will have to look at it first to determine whether he flouted the law. If he has, we will act against him under the Sedition Act.”

Namewee is said to be from Muar, Johor, and is studying at the Ming Chuan University. ( Story link )

Personally I thought that ‘namewee’ was merely voicing his dissatisfaction from his point of view, and I thought that the way he sang the ‘Negaraku’ in his video was beautiful. It was soulful, gospel-like, and the pure quality of his voice made me think better of our national anthem. In a way, the way he sang it made me think that he felt much love and pride for the country.

So do you think ‘namewee’ was being disrespectful? You be the judge.

2 held for spreading rumours

Apparently there’s a load of ‘rumours’ of violence in Pasir Gudang, Johor.

JOHOR BARU: Two men have been detained under the Internal Security Act on suspicion of spreading inflammatory text messages.

Johor acting police chief Datuk Mohd Mokhtar Mohd Shariff said the men, aged 25 and 29, were nabbed on Tuesday and have been remanded to help in the investigations.

The suspects are said to be private sector employees.

Mokhtar stressed that the allegations sent via text messages were all false. ( Story link )

Click here to read a blogger’s take on the issue.

Get well soon, Tun M!

It is difficult to imagine this legendary man of his stature falling ill and requiring surgery, but there you go.

KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will be in good hands when he undergoes his second coronary bypass today.

The team will be headed by Tan Sri Dr Yahya Awang, the cardiothoracic surgeon responsible for performing the first cardiac coronary bypass on the former prime minister in 1989.

An expert from the US, Professor Dr Hartzell V. Schaff, has also been flown in to be part of the surgical team at the National Heart Institute (IJN).

Dr Mahathir, 81, was admitted to the IJN on Sunday for the elective coronary bypass surgery. Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali was by her husband’s side. ( Story link )

We wish you all the best in your surgery today, and hope that you get all the rest you need, and that you recover swift and well.

On a side note, what would you say if, or have said when you meet the Tun face-to-face? For me, it was “I was born in the year you took power.” Yes, I knocked myself in the head for a long time after that…