Should PM Najib lead SPAD? (update #2)

  • Updated with information about the CEO & COO of SPAD!
  • Updated with information about the candidates for SPAD and a poll for you to respond to!

Mohamad Nur tipped to be SPAD head (The Star)
17 May 2010

Transport Ministry special adviser Mohamad Nur Kamal is tipped to be appointed chief executive officer of the Public Land Transport Commission (SPAD).

Its chief operating officer is expected to be Shahril Mokhtar who was formerly RapidKL’s corporate planning and strategy general manager, said sources.

TRANSIT has also heard that Prime Minister Najib will be the Minister-in-Charge of SPAD, contradicting earlier claims about who would be in charge, as mentioned below.

The target date for the official launching of SPAD is 1 June 2010-interestingly enough, 1 June is also the 125th anniversary of KTMB.

TRANSIT took note of a very interesting article in the newspapers, which have collated nicely with some rumours that we were hearing about the future of SPAD, the Land Public Transport Commission.

For those of you who do not know, SPAD will have a commission with between 11 and 13 members – one of whom would be the Chair. Since SPAD is also placed within the Economic Planning Unit, there would be a “Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department” tasked with responsibility for SPAD.

Mohd. Nazri Abdul Aziz, currently the Minister responsible for the CVLB (Peninsular Malaysia) has identified himself as the Minister responsible, and so has Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department S.K. Devamany.

Sources are also saying that Tenggara MP Halimah Sadique, current Chair of the CVLB in Peninsular Malaysia, is angling for the position of Chair of SPAD, which appears to have been confirmed in the article below.

Many public transport operators disagree, and argue the that transport industry has been under the thumb of political interests and should be run by industry players. They also suggest that Prime Minister Najib should be responsible for SPAD.

TRANSIT disagrees with the idea that the presence of politicians would be detrimental to SPAD. But we recognize that not all politicians are created equal – and the Chairmanship of SPAD should be given to a politician who has proven himself or herself capable of bringing Malaysia’s transport industry into the 21st century.

We can think of only two names for the job – Johor Baru MP Shahrir Abdul Samad as Chairman of SPAD, reporting directly to Prime Minister and Pekan MP Najib Razak, as the Minister responsible.

For the moment though, please read the article so you know more about the issue:

Public transport operators want industry players and NGO reps instead (The Star)
10 May 2010

PETALING JAYA: Public transport operators do not want politicians to be involved in the Land Public Transport Commission.

They said if politicians or political appointees controlled the commission, things could end up being “business as usual” and the improvements which the new panel was supposed to bring in would not take place.

They also felt it was important for commissioners to comprise largely industry players and representatives from transportation non-governmental organisations.

Civil servants and political appointees should be represented but not be in control.

The concerns came after Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz introduced himself as the person appointed by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to oversee the commission at Thursday’s briefing.

Many players prefer the Prime Minister to directly oversee the commission.

Industry sources said Nazri, who currently oversees the Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (CVLB), was backing the board’s chairman Datuk Halimah Sadique, who is also Tenggara MP, to be the new commission’s chairman.

[TRANSIT: MP Nazri and MP Halimah are qualified candidates but they should not be present in SPAD – simply because we need leaders with a totally new approach to public transport]

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk S.K. Devamany had also thrown his name into the hat when he told an English daily in December that the commission would fall under his purview.

[TRANSIT: Deputy Minister S.K. Devamany (Cameron Highlands) was the MP who introduced the SPAD bill into Parliament. Given the current state of politics in Malaysia, it is possible that S.K. Devamany might be elevated to a full Minister’s position as a ‘reward’ for MIC for the recent by-election victory – allowing Kamalanathan to receive the Deputy Minister’s positi….. wait, since when did we start discussing communal and race politics on our public transport page?]

Taxi, Limousine and Hired Car Drivers and Operators Association vice-president Mohd Syahir Abdul Aziz said politicians, including the minister-in-charge of the commission, should not be allowed to interfere with the operations and only occupy himself with policy-related matters.

“For the commission to work, it must be free of political interference, just like the operations of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

[TRANSIT: And the MACC is working sooooo well? Uh oh. Er…no comment]

“Otherwise, the public transportation industry cannot develop. There will be no continuity.

“Every time there is a Cabinet reshuffle, the direction changes in line with the new minister,” he said, adding that commission members must have industry expertise and not just be representatives from licensing and enforcement agencies.

“You can have one person from CVLB and one from the Road Transport Department (JPJ), and that’s enough,” said Mohd Syahir, who attended the briefing along with some 50 public transport and commercial transportation operators.

[TRANSIT: We didn’t even know about the briefing. Maybe they forgot to invite us?Hey, SPAD, don’t forget us NGOs!]

Pan Malaysian Bus Operators Association president Datuk Ashfar Ali said the commission should consist of those with genuine knowledge of transportation issues.

However, Federal Territory and Selangor Taxi Operators Association president Datuk Aslah Abdullah said Nazri could be the right person to oversee the commission.

“If we expect the Prime Minister to do everything, he will collapse from exhaustion,” he said.


For the moment, we will reserve comment until we get some feedback and wait for the issue to rise up a little bit. In fact, while we were constructing this post the Transport Worker’s Union has already commented, and there is also an article in The Malay Mail quoting Nazri and S.K. Devamany announcing their roles.

At the moment there are two positions up for grabs – Minister-in-Charge of SPAD and Chair of SPAD. Traditionally, both of these positions go to MPs, but the argument is that the Chair of SPAD should not be a politician.

Let’s look at the list of candidates, shall we?

For Minister-in-Charge:

  • Najib Razak – As Prime Minister, he has introduced the NKRA for public transport, used public transport twice, and is popular with the public – he also has a very strong social networking presence on twitter and facebook. It is worth noting that many bus manufacturers have located themselves in Pekan, his Parliamentary seat. Most importantly, as Finance Minister and Minister-in-Charge of SPAD, he can weave the different stakeholders in the public transport industry
  • Ong Tee Keat – as Minister of Transport, he was tasked with being the spokesperson for the NKRA on public transport. He is a popular figure and accessible through social networking. However, he faces significant challenges in the MCA (he lost the presidency recently). Also, there have been allegations that he likes to make announcements before decisions have been made, and that he overpaid for recent train purchases.
  • Nazri Abdul Aziz – the current Minister in Charge of the CVLB has been a ‘de facto’ Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department for many years. This is his second time responsible for the CVLB. Nazri is popular with the media but fiercely independent and would not hesitate to argue for better public transport – if that is what he wants. Allegations that he profits from the ownership of 5000 taxi permits (dating back to his first time in charge of the CVLB) will continue to haunt him

For Chair of SPAD:

  • Shahrir Abdul Samad, MP for Johor Baru was chair of the BN Backbencher’s Club before he resigned over the use of the Parliamentary whip. He was made Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, presiding over the largest increase in petrol prices in Malaysia history (a decision not made by him). He has attempted to use public transport at least once or twice. He is also popular among MPs and government and NGOs for his consultative approach
  • S.K. Devamany, MP for Cameron Highlands, is a young MP who has proven himself willing to call the government on its errors. His presence in Parliament during debates for SPAD show that he is dedicated to the task. He could be Chair of SPAD or Minister-in-Charge.
  • Halimah Sadique, MP for Tenggara, is the present Chair of the CVLB and is gunning hard for the Chairmanship of SPAD – she is a tough MP who has worked to reign in out-of-control taxi drivers and bus operators, ‘rediscovering’ some of the authority that the CVLB forgot it has – however, she is an ‘old-school’ MP who believes that things can best be handled from Putrajaya.
  • Nadzmi Salleh, current Chair of Proton, was formerly the Chair of Konsortium Transnasional Berhad (KTB), Malaysia’s largest public transport operator. Putting him in charge of SPAD would be seen by many as clear indication of support for operators, but Nadzmi’s no-nonsense approach would see him through many of the debates and infighting.

So there are your candidates – please vote below.

Thank you!


18 thoughts on “Should PM Najib lead SPAD? (update #2)”

  1. Have submitted my architect brother’s name to
    Prasarana. He is noted at his website as Chon Pung Sam. His expertise may help in giving some beneficial views in the KL/PJ planning transport system. He is well travelled in the world and responsible for many construction projects in China. And yes his domicile is still Taman Bahagia LRT Station. Hope to look forward to for his involvement in the the planning system and no doubt he seems to work with Hongkies and Singaporean a lot he is just as Malaysian. Good Luck in trying to woo him (back) Forever his beloved sister, Quiting.

  2. KTM di Tanjung Pagar

    Kenapa, kenapa, kenapa
    KTM di Tanjung Pagar
    Mesti berundur
    Kenapa, kenapa, kenapa
    Kenapa rakyat Singapura
    Tidak nampak ia
    Suatu tapak besejarah
    Orang Melayu?
    Kenapa, kenapa, kenapa
    Kalau pindah pun
    Sila kerajaan Singapura
    Jangan robohkan
    Bangunan yang bersejarah
    Kepada rakyat Malaysia ini……

  3. Please let me write my last poem here:

    Kenapa dan Mengapa

    Kenapa dan Mengapa
    Mengapakah hati saya ini
    Mesti mengalami ketakdiran
    Stesen LRT Taman Bahagia –
    Saya tidak membuat apa-apa
    Tentangan yang menentang
    Kerajaan pada sepanjang
    Hayat saya ini –
    Kenapa dan Mengapa?
    Memang saya mengunakannya
    Tetapi ini tidak bermakna
    Saya mesti bertolak ansur
    Selalunya –
    Mengapa dan Kenapa
    Ia mesti letak
    Di hadapan mata saya
    Dengan pintu utamanya
    Menuju dekat rumah
    Pintu utama rumah saya
    Kenapa dan Mengapa
    Jalan LRT mesti
    Menakdirkan takdiran saya
    Kenapa dan Mengapa?
    Cukuplah, tolong cukuplah!
    Biar ia mentakdir orang
    Yang berdosa membuat
    Takdir ini yang menhantui
    Nyawa saya –
    Biarlah dan cukuplah

    Saya ingin berucap beribu-ribuan Terima Kasih
    kerana memberikan masa saya menulis di sini. TQ

    1. Quiting, keep writing the poems – just have them focus on public transport 😀

      We at TRANSIT are happy to encourage art & culture that helps people better experience public transport and the urban environment.

      Many public transport operators feature poems & art on their trains – and we fully support that.

      Regards, Moaz for TRANSIT

  4. Moaz yang disayangi

    Moaz yang disayangi
    Terima kasihlah
    Terima Kasihlah
    Kerana memberi saya
    Begitu penuh erti –
    Galakan lepas galakan
    Kepada saya menulis
    Tulisan saya seterusnya
    Tetapi sedih dikatakan
    Bahawa tiada perkataan2
    Yang mengalir dari
    Fikiran otak saya ini
    Sebab saya masih
    Dalam fikiran tulisan
    Sekarang ini
    Terima Kasihlah
    Terima Kasihlah
    Kerana sudi
    Menghargai tulisan saya
    Sekarang ini

  5. Please excuse me, I want to retype my mistake again.

    It is no pretense

    It is no pretense
    That the heartbeat
    Of Malaysia in Singapore
    Is KTM Tanjung Pagar

    Aunties, Uncles
    Pachiks, Machiks
    Love riding it
    All the way
    Down south
    Of Singapore tip

    If I am Singapore
    I would just
    Let it be as –
    A symbol of
    Historical relationships

    But what to do
    People who make money
    Don’t see it
    That way

    They feel money
    More than they feel
    Warmth of spiritual

  6. Sorry, I do not know how to reduce the country’s spending if given such a short time. It is a ridiculous thing but I just want to say it again. Bring Chin Peng home. It should be a better tomorrow. Malaysia has all the the “facilities” to prosper but it is either not used properly or not used at all. If China can help us directly we can look forward to India, Russia where the transportation systems consultation is cheap and considered advance, instead depending so much on a small country like Singapore. It would only benefit
    one party as the rich would get richer and the poor to be remained poor or perhaps get poorer. Anyway, here someting I wrote about transportation before the Intrakota buses were out:

    Mini-Bus Night Clubs

    There’s this man
    He walked right in
    Flinged himself between
    Two pettish ladies
    Both the ‘she’ were soft

    Sometimes he’s lucky
    Get the best woman
    More than just ‘soft’
    Primp, pretty to dainty
    Beside him
    Even if she does
    Not speak
    A shoulder caress
    Would just do

    Sometimes you’re lucky
    Sometimes you’re not

    Taking advantage
    It’s the game

    There’s no apologies
    A delicate squeeze
    An unintentional cramped

    Yet beauties need to
    Pay their fares

    Passenger forfeited
    From what?

    No deliberations
    It’s unintentional
    Some courtesy
    A lot of aides

    Sorry, sorry for taking so much space and Happy Wesak Day!

  7. Moaz,
    The noise level at my living area at The Taman Bahagia Station has been almost unbearable. I think either the old coaches are getting old or the new coaches are producing the highly powered sound. The annoucement is so loud is as if my house is part of the station. The main road saw a drastic increment of automobiles that zoomed and added to the noise level.
    My family is dying of noise pollution!
    Not forgetting the horrible illegal parkings and vehicles that often blocked our car from exit and vice versa.
    Yet, the line is extending to Subang? That will certainly double increase of the noise level! It is easy to say “get used to it” and if you can’t do so, find another place. It is really a matter of how my once traquillized area had been unfairly turned into a polluted and busy traffic hub. How can you help me to solve this problem, Moaz. If the line is going to Subang, I dielaa…….

    1. Kwee-Ting

      The issue with the LRT is an unfortunate one. Your comments about the noise levels increasing have raised a concern with us – so we will forward your email to SPAD and the Department of Railways to investigate.

      It is quite possible that Prasarana needs to work on grinding the rail in the area as well as the wheels of certain trains to help reduce the noise levels.

      Regards, Moaz for TRANSIT

  8. Moaz
    Apa Khabar? Sangat sibuk pada masa kebelakangan ini. Saya berasa sungguh gembira kerana baru membaca mesej En Lee HK yang seperti cadangan saya mengadakan sistem menaiki bas. Sungguh tajam mindanya kerana hanya ianya lah satu-satu penyokong saya selepas sudah menulis banyak di laman web ini. Bukan saya hendak memuji minda saya sendiri tetapi saya rasa rakyat dibutakan oleh jiran kita, Singapura. Mungkin kita akan tumpu racangan kita di kawasan KL sahaja. Apa akan terjadi dengan kawasan Timur seperti Kelantan dan Pahang, misalnya? Akhirnya kita akan mendapat suatu
    sistem pengangkutan boleh dikatakan moden tetapi ia akan menjadi tidak kesimbangan untuk menyentuhi semua hati rakyat negara. Macam saya sudah katakan negara kita berkongsi sejarah yang berlainan dengan mana mana jua negara sahaja. Cuba Moaz lihat, ambil contoh negeri China, yang sedang membangun dengan pesat suatu sistem pengangkutan yang termoden di dunia ini. Mereka berjaya menubuhkan tren yang terpantas di dunia. Mampukah Malaysia membuat demikian? Saya kurang yakin. Sebab strategi kita untuk mengawal negara terlalu berbeza. Pertama,
    kita ialah sebuah negara yang sangat baru dan selalu tidak boleh bersatu hati kerana baru mempratikan demokrasi berpuluh-puluh tahun sahaja. Walaupun saya cadangkan kerajaan perpaduan kerana tidak payah membuang masa membenci antara sama lain di dalam hati, selalu kerjar mengerjar menjadi satu negara yang berstatus pendapatan tinggi atau maju ini tidak akan menjadi kenyataan dalam tempoh yang terdekat. Kalau ia terjadi pun, ia tidak akan sampai dalam tahap yang rata di seluruh negara kerana walaupun Malaysia kecil, ia memang besar berbanding dengan negara-negara lain. Kalau kita mesti berfikir tentang Sabah dan Sarawak, kita mesti “memberi balik ” apa yang kita telah mendapat daripada sumber-sumber mereka. Kalau tidak, percayalah saya, hati mereka akan masih bertumpu kepada Singapura. Memahami status tingginya Singapura sekarang, adakah mereka hendak mengaku kalah dan kembali kepada pangkuan kita begitu sahaja? Saya masih rasa pembinaan LRT/MRT ini semua masih memihak untuk menolong menambah keagungan kapitalisme Singapura. Kalau perjalanan pergankutan begitu senang untuk seseorang perniaga Singapura, kawalan kuasa mereka dalam aspek ekonomi negara kita masih dalam tangan mereka. Saya becakap begitu banyak sebab saya tidak mahu kawasan rumah saya, iaitu Stesen Taman Bahagia menjadi kenyataan untuk seseorang perniaga dengan kemungkinan bersubahat dengan rakan Singapura pergi begitu sahaja, dengan pembangunan pembinaan yang pesat satu hari yang akan datang nanti. Melihat perspektif KL di sudut sejarahnya berkaitan dengan perhubungan bandar lain, racangan LRT/MRT ini memang dirancang untuk kesronokan warga kota KL sahaja dan memang tidak ada bajet itu untuk ke
    semua bandar -bandar atau kawasan terdekat yang lain. Itu yang saya cakapkan , tidak keseimbangan rata. Kawasan lain akan tunggu sampai bila masa? Kalau 7 bilon itu di jimatkan sebahagiannya dengan memberi perkhimatan bas yang baik dan sempurna, sebahagiannya yang lain boleh digunakan dengan lebih perkembangan perkhimatan bas ini menyentuh setiap hati orang di setiap Taman. Saya yang selalu berharap dengan hati yang terkunci, dari Keluarga Sam.

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