- Updated with the detailed debate from the 2nd & 3rd reading!
- Updated with information about each of the bills presented to Parliament on 12 April!
- Updated with information about Area Congestion Pricing as well as comments on SPAD!
We at TRANSIT have been waiting a long time for this day – hopefully the day when public transport in Malaysia will change for the better.
Today, the Bill to create the Suruhanjaya Pengangkutan Awam Darat (SPAD) or Land Public Transport Authority was tabled in the Parliament along with bills to amend laws governing the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board, Railways and tourism vehicles.
The following bills were presented for 1st reading:
- Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department – Suruhanjaya Pengangkutan Awam Darat Bill 2010 [Purpose: To create the new Land Public Transport Commission]
- Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department – Land Public Transport Bill 2010. [Purpose: To outline the rights, responsibilities, duties & powers of the new Land Public Transport Commission]
- Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department – Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board (Amendment) Bill 2010. [Purpose: To shift the responsibility for Commercial Vehicles in Peninsular Malaysia to the new Public Land Transport Commission]
- Minister of Tourism –Tourism Vehicles Licensing (Amendment) Bill 2010. [Purpose: To shift the responsibility for Tourism vehicles in Peninsular Malaysia to the new Public Land Transport Commission]
- Minister of Transport – Railway (Amendment) Bill 2010. [Purpose: To shift the responsibility for Railways in Peninsular Malaysia to the new Public Land Transport Commission]
The government intends that all these bills be sent through 1st and 2nd reading in this session of Parliament.
For a copy of the debate during the 2nd & 3rd readings of the Bills, see this link.
The Land Public Transport Commission will assume the responsibilities of the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board and Department of Railways in the regulation of land-based public transport and freight vehicles. It will also be responsible for the regulation of tourism vehicles (currently under the Ministry of Tourism) in Peninsular Malaysia.
For the first two years, SPAD will be designated as a special Performance Management Organization, during the process of taking up the responsibilities of the CVLB and Department of Railways as well as the responsibility for tour buses.
KUALA LUMPUR: The Land Public Transport Bill and Suruhanjaya Pengangkutan Awam Darat Bill are among five bills tabled for first reading at the Dewan Rakyat at 11.30am on Monday.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop tabled the bills.
These two bills will be instrumental in overhauling the land public transport service by putting regulation under the Suruhanjaya (Commission).
Others are the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board (Amendment) Bill, Tourism Vehicles Licensing (Amendment) Bill and Railway (Amendment) Bill.
The CVLB (Amendment) bill was tabled by Deputy Minister in Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong, Tourism Vehicles Licensing Bill by Deputy Tourism Minister Datuk Dr James Dawos Mamit and Railway (amendment Bill ) by Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri.
All five bills are to scheduled for debate in this meeting.
From another article in The Star
The Land Public Transport Bill will rationalise the entire sector and bring the regulation of most aspects of public transport under a single regulator – the Land Public Transport Commission, which will be established by the second bill.
The first bill, sources said, would effectively absorb the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (CVLB) and the Department of Railways into the new commission.
Currently, CVLB, which is the licensing body for all commercial vehicles, is under the Prime Minister’s Department while the department which regulates all matters on railway transport in the country comes under the Transport Ministry.
The new commission, expected to be established by July this year, will also regulate matters concerning the operation of public transport terminals, Public Service Vehicles (PSV), tourism vehicles and goods vehicles. [in Peninsular Malaysia]
[TRANSIT: It sounds pretty interesting to see what the SPAD will do. TRANSIT’s 2008 report to the government recommended an agency that focused on public transport only.]
It will also plan and draw up laws and policies concerning public transport as well as develop long-term masterplans to improve public transport services in the country.
“The new laws will allow the management of the public transport sector under a one-stop agency. Previously, at least 18 government agencies had responsibility over this sector,” said the sources.
[TRANSIT: This is fine, but public transport works best at the local & regional level – everything cannot be planned and decided in Putrajaya]
The new laws will also provide for the sharing of enforcement powers with the police, Road Transport Department and local authorities.
“They will allow the overall conduct of bus or taxi operators to be scrutinised closely,” the sources said.
The commission would also be responsible for conducting investigations into accidents and incidents within the public transportation sector, they said.
The new laws, they added, would ensure better integration of public transport facilities.
A Land Public Transport Forum will also be set up, comprising representatives of stakeholders in the sector, who will then give recommendations to the commission on fares or other issues relating to the industry.
[TRANSIT: As you might expect, some have already asked if TRANSIT would be interested to participate or be a member of this Land Public Transport Forum. We do not have an answer yet but we are thinking about the associated pros & cons.]
Another interesting feature of the Bill, which was mentioned by many in the media, is the proposal for Area Congestion Pricing. The Malay Mail added this article on 15 April 2010, NGOs’ cautious reception to new Transport Bill which includes a slightly inaccurate comment from TRANSIT. There is also this article:
THE government tabled yesterday the Land Public Transport Bill 2010, which will among others introduce an “area congestion pricing scheme”.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop tabled the bill, together with the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) Bill 2010.
While the charges for the area congestion pricing scheme will be fixed later, the Land Public Transport Bill 2010 specifies that road users who fail to pay the congestion charge can be fined RM2,000 or jailed six months or both.
Once it becomes law, the authorities will be empowered to also restrict or prohibit the usage of certain roads by prescribed vehicles.
[TRANSIT: Area Congestion Pricing was mentioned as one of the initiatives in the Government Transformation Plan to improve Urban Public Transport – but as you can imagine, it was recommended for “after 2012”. TRANSIT believes that an effective system of Area Congestion Pricing will help shift more people to the public transport system, but we need an efficient public transport system ready to absorb those new users. That means enhanced and expanded bus lanes, Bus Rapid Transit, LRT, and reliable bus & taxi operations.]
The Land Public Transport Bill aims to rationalise the road and railway transportation sectors and bring the relevant regulations under the purview of SPAD.
SPAD will become a single authority to monitor and enforce service standards in providing long-term plans for the public transportation system.
[TRANSIT: TRANSIT believes that SPAD can be a single authority but it should have both a central and regional face. The central office would focus on the laws & regulation, integration, planning & investment. The regional offices would focus on local regulation & organization & planning of public transport services.]
It will help in achieving an integrated, affordable, competitive and sustainable land public transportation system in the country.
SPAD will comprise a chairman, a chief executive officer and five government officials. Five more members, who are experienced and knowledgable in land transport matters, will be appointed to the commission.
Appointments to the commission will be by the minister in charge.
[TRANSIT: As you can imagine, we are very curious to know who will be on the Commission and who will be the Minister in Charge (likely to also be the Chairman).]
SPAD’s functions include advising the transport minister on land transportation issues and strategies to improve the system in line with increased user demand.
It will also help the minister develop a national and regional master plan on land public transport and advise the minister on fares that will be affordable to both industry members and the public.
An appeals tribunal would also be created for aggrieved parties to appeal against the commission’s decisions on land transportation matters.
[TRANSIT: It will be interesting to see how this appeals tribunal is created, governed and authorized. Unfortunately without a clear set of instructions, this tribunal could also act to delay or overturn decisions made by SPAD – for example, if SPAD proposed that permit owners hire their permits to registered companies with proper experience instead of using the daily pajak (pawning) system, this might be taken to the appeals tribunal.]
Nor Mohamed told the house the government wanted the bills passed during the current sitting.
We at TRANSIT have been waiting for a very long time to see changes in public transport – and the tabling of the SPAD bill is a major step forward. It will take us a lot of time to go through the materials including the bill itself, the tabling speech and parliamentary discussion and the various proposals that will come out.
At the time of this update (13 April at 3:15pm) , the Hansard and Order Paper for April 12 and information about the SPAD Bill and other related bills have not been posted to the Parliament website.
For those in the media, you may contact us by email or phone to discuss the proposals and amendments and what we see from the perspective of the public transport user.
For those who have been following our blog or interested in public transport, you are invited to comment and give feedback on public transport at this posting, through email at firstname.lastname@example.org, using our twitter feed @transitmy or through our facebook page TRANSIT-Malaysia.
To all the members of TRANSIT & the public transport workers & planners who have done so much over the past 2 years and for many years before to improve public transport, this day is dedicated to you! Thank you!