There are no ‘official forms’ for feedback on the LRT extension

TRANSIT has been following the public display for the LRT. Today, we noted an article that mentioned that the LRT public display would end on December 14 and encouraged the public to give feedback through the “proper channels” and using the “official form”.

TRANSIT wishes to clarify that there are no “proper channels” beyond submissions in writing to The Director General, Department of Railways, and there is no ‘official form’ for submission.

We wish to encourage more people to give feedback and hope that they will not be discouraged by confusing information.

The letter below has been sent to the Malaysian media, as well as to RapidKL, Prasarana, and the Department of Railways and the Ministry of Transport.

Dear Editor

RE: Public display period for LRT Extensions coming to a close on December 14

The Association for the Improvement of Mass-Transit appreciates the reminder that the public display period for the LRT extensions will come to a close on 14 December 2009.

And it is very important that the public give feedback on the proposed extensions.  While residents of Petaling Jaya, Kelana Jaya, Kinrara, Puchong, Subang Jaya, USJ, Putra Heights and Shah Alam have the most at stake, all residents of the Klang Valley will be affected by the choices that are made and all residents should feel comfortable in giving feedback.

That is why we are disappointed to note the comments from Prasarana, which imply that feedback must be made through the “proper channels” and only feedback given in the “official form” will be accepted.

TRANSIT would like to point out that the public display for the LRT extension (and for all railway projects) is mandated by the Department of Railways and therefore, receiving feedback is their responsibility. According to the project notice, all feedback has to be submitted to The Director General, Department of Railways in writing on or before 14 December 2009. 

To the best of our knowledge, the Department of Railways has no “official form” for the submission of feedback on the public display of railway projects. Given that there are currently 3 public displays for 4 railway projects (the 2 LRT extensions, Seremban-Gemas Electrification and Double Tracking and the Ipoh-Padang Besar Electrification & Double Tracking) happening right now, this is actually a major problem.  Frankly, given the number of current projects on public display, the Department of Railways should have developed an official feedback form by now that all members of the public could use.

But as there is no “official form” then the statement from Prasarana could cause some confusion. Again, the public notice simply states that “all comments or objections to the project must be submitted in writing to the Director-General of the Department of Railways on or before 14 December 2009.”

There is nothing that suggests any “official form” nor is there anything to say that email feedback at the email address lrtextensionfeedback@dor.gov.my or feedback sent in using the feedback forms on the website http://lrtextension.com would be considered official, since soft copies are technically not “in writing.”

The members of TRANSIT invite the Minister of Transport or the Director General of the Department of Railways to state directly what is “official” and not “official” so that there would be no confusion and so that the public would not be discouraged for taking the initative to encourage community feedback.  In the meantime, we urge the public to please give feedback on the LRT extension in writing to The Director General, Department of Railways before 14 December 2009.

TRANSIT’s submission to the Department of Railways is currently being prepared and each part of the submission will be posted online at http://transitmy.org/2009/11/20/lrt-extensions-transits-submission as soon as it is complete.

TRANSIT Says:

We have been supportive of the public display but that the same time, we have always been concerned about the approach taken by Prasarana/RapidKL and the Department of Railways.

The Malaysian government and linked companies and agencies must be more proactive about public display and public consultation. The current practices are not acceptable and barely meet the minimum of government expectations. They do not come close to meeting public expectations for openness and transparency.

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