Comments on Briefing to Subang Jaya community

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TRANSIT believes that it is important to share information. We believe in openness in communications but we also believe in respect for others.

This is one of the reasons why we removed (temporarily) some images of the 4-carriage LRT trains.  Although the images can easily be found on the internet (flickr, anyone), we removed the images as a courtesy to people involved.

That same semblance of courtesy ought to be extended to each other by all stakeholders in public transport, namely:

  • The community (residents, NGOs, interested parties)
  • The government (Wakil Rakyat)
  • The Civil Service (Local Authority)
  • The Operators

As you know, TRANSIT believes that these 4 stakeholders collectively make up the public transport community and that all of their views need to be considered in the planning, development and operations of public transport.

That is why we were disappointed that the presentation of information by Dato’ Idrose bin Mohamed, Managing Director of Prasarana, was quite limited. There were no printouts, images or maps available for the people. The public were asked not to take pictures of the images shown in the powerpoint presentation which was not very clear anyways.

And while we understand that this was just a briefing and dialogue – but that is still not acceptable. 

Information should be shared openly by all 4 stakeholders, it should be shared early, and it should be shared in a manner that will promote discussion and dialogue.

Image of participants at the dialogue, courtesy of the usj.com.my editorial team
Image of participants at the dialogue before the presentation began - image courtesy of the usj.com.my editorial team.

When one group of stakeholders (often the community) feels that their voice is not being heard in a timely way, and they lose their trust for their government and their interest in participation., then sad things happen. 

And this lack of sharing of information early on might have led to some of the heightened tension that was present at the dialogue.

At the same time, TRANSIT wonders what it must have been like for Dato’ Idrose Mohamed, the Managing Director of Prasarana.  He was there at the briefing as a courtesy and perhaps he had heard positive comments about the residents of Subang Jaya and USJ being informed and active participants in community issues.

So you can imagine how disappointed we were by the events that took place at the briefing on the LRT extension. Aside from the political issues (which we will not comment on here), the comments and behaviour of some residents were downright aggressive and rude.  Their actions lowered the tone of the discussion and at the end it degenerated into a very embarassing shouting match.

TRANSIT can only hope that Dato’ Idrose continues to give public presentations about the LRT extension despite what happened at the presentation. 

But this is also a lesson for all parties. Respect has to be earned and that requires effort and participation and courtesy on all sides. All of the stakeholders involved in the briefing could have made a better effort to show respect and courtesy for each other.

Datuk Sri Ong Tee Keat, attending the dialogue in various capacities, should take note of what happens when the 4 stakeholders do not share information with each other in a courteous and timely way.

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