Pudu Sentral? Is that the best you can do?

TRANSIT took note of this article in which the Prime Minister has announced that he would rename Puduraya as Pudu Sentral.

Behold, it’s Pudu Sentral. Rebranded by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak yesterday, the RM52mil facelift of Puduraya has given a complete makeover to a landmark building in Kuala Lumpur that has served bus commuters since 1976. — SHAHRUL FAZRY ISMAIL / The Star

We at TRANSIT appreciate that Prime Minister Najib has showed that he is paying attention to public transport. Yet at the same time we simply cannot understand the why’s and how’s of this situation.

There are so many problems in the public transport industry that deserve serious attention from the government – in some cases, the Prime Minister, in order to push through bureaucracy & resistance. There are service issues, health & safety issues, planning issues, regulatory issues, governance issues, and environmental issues – to name but a few,

[TRANSIT: and that’s just in relation to the buses that run in Klang!]

Why is the Prime Minister ignoring all of those problems and diverting his attention to a largely cosmetic & somewhat unnecessary name change? Maybe it’s all part of his efforts to develop a folksy, love the people image

Prime Minister Najib meets with the public at Puduraya / Pudu Sentral bus terminal. Images courtesy of NST.

In other words, maybe there is an election coming soon?

Najib renames revamped bus station ‘Pudu Sentral’ (The Malaysian Insider)

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 27 — The newly-upgraded Puduraya bus station here will be renamed “Pudu Sentral”, Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced today.

The prime minister said he had decided that a new name was needed as part of the station’s new image and “branding,” and that there have been requests from the public for a renaming.

[TRANSIT: Did the Prime Minister bother to check if the revamped, renovated Puduraya station even had a website since it opened in April 2011? Where does a member of the public find out information about the station & services without actually going there?]

“I had tweeted during sahur this morning that I would be visiting Pudu station… when I said I would be visiting Pudu, there were suggestions that the name be changed.

[TRANSIT: We have tweeted so many suggestions to the Prime Minister at his @najibrazak twitter feed – and not only have we never received a response, we have never seen any of our suggestions (many of them useful) implemented – or even discussed.]

“After thinking about it, I have decided that Pudu station will be renamed Pudu Sentral,” Najib told reporters here.

[TRANSIT: At least he chose an original name.]

The PM decided last year that the 35-year old bus terminal required an upgrade after a walkabout and feedback from the public, including bus and taxi companies.

The upgrade bill weighed in at RM52 million and work was completed this April 16.

“Overall, it’s very clean and so modern… it gives the impression that everything is [like] clockwork, spick and span.

[TRANSIT: Impressions count, but details count even more. We invite the PM to try & find the new “Pudu Sentral” on the internet.]

“I even spoke to a German couple at this station; they said the new terminal feels like an airport,” Najib added.

[TRANSIT: Did they mention the walkway between Plaza Rakyat LRT station and Puduraya?]

The PM also conducted a quick walkabout and handed goodies to some of the people who were in the station.

Safety features have also undergone a major improvement, as the whole station will now be under 24-hour closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance as part of the government’s efforts to combat crime.

versi BM di sini: Najib namakan Hentian Puduraya ‘Pudu Sentral’ (The Malaysian Insider, 27 Ogos 2011)

Other articles:

TRANSIT Says:

What can we say – except to note that a name change is not what Puduraya needs. Believe us when we say that the public transport industry needs far great attention than cosmetic (and not very thoughtful) renamings of stations.

OK, so first of all, why is the Prime Minister of Malaysia unilaterally deciding that the station be renamed? Does he have first right of refusal on naming buildings in the country? Is he some kind of dictator who has the ability to dictate names as he likes? If the name of Puduraya / Hentian Pudu is so important that it needs the attention of the Prime Minister, shouldn’t it be discussed at the cabinet level first, as a sign of Malaysia’s consultative system of leadership & decision-making?

Second, why Pudu Sentral? “Sentral” is not a “real” Malaysian word and more importantly it is completely and utterly overused – throughout the country. We already have KL Sentral, Melaka Sentral, Putrajaya Sentral, USJ Sentral, JB Sentral, Kuching Sentral, Kuantan Sentral, NU Sentral, Klang Sentral, Ipoh Sentral, Penang Sentral, and others. There’s even a new “M-Sentral” development that claims to be located along the MRT Circle Line – the one that has yet to be announced but will apparently (at least according to this develop) follow Jalan Tun Razak ….

Although we can say that Puduraya is “sentrally-located” it deserves better than the name “Sentral.”

Third, why is the name being changed now? This kind of an arbitrary name change sounds very much to us like a cosmetic decision to make it appear that the Prime Minister has the ability to think quickly and make decisions – not to mention that he is on top of public sentiment about public transport.

Unfortunately, renaming Pudu to Pudu Sentral is hardly the best example of the Prime Minister’s decision making ability. And if he wanted to show that he was aware of sentiment related to public transport, he should take a look at what the public is saying about KTM Komuter services!

Now, if the PM had decided that he wanted Prasarana, the DBKL, SPAD, and other stakeholder to get together and immediately form a public transport organizing authority – perhaps called KUTA (Klang Valley Urban Transport Authority) or RapidKL (Rapid Integrated Transport Network – KL) – then we would be impressed, since this is a proposal that has been sat on for more than a decade.

If the PM had decided that he would like to see Plaza Rakyat finished and the work started immediately, then we would be pleased, because so many people see Plaza Rakyat as a blight on the urban fabric of KL – not to mention that it was supposed to include an expanded bus terminal to complement Puduraya.

If the PM had decided that instead of running under Jalan Sultan the MRT would run under Jalan Kinabalu instead, then we could praise him for considering the concerns of traders and acting to preserve KL’s heritage.

If the PM had decided that public transport users would get tax incentives for purchasing monthly passes (like Touch N’ Go users get incentives for using Touch ‘n’ Go cards at expressway toll plazas) we would have applauded his support for public transport users.

And if the PM had named a solution for Klang Sentral, or announced the extension of the Kelana Jaya LRT to Shah Alam stadium (with construction of a 4th Integrated Transport Terminal there) then we would have been quite pleased, since these would be clear indications that he was paying attention to our ideas, and that would show that he really did listen to the public on serious issues.

But as you can see, these important things are not happening, and instead, Pudu / Puduraya is now Pudu Sentral.

Thanks for very little.

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3 thoughts on “Pudu Sentral? Is that the best you can do?”

  1. 100% agreed with Transit.

    There are thousands of other ‘real’ & ‘potential’ improvement in PT than just this unnecessary name change. My simple idea associate with Puduraya is just to have a direct 100m pedestrian bridge connecting Plaza Rakyat station platform to the main building without terpaksa naik turun tangga banyak kali..

    Anyway is hard using the new name since Puduraya has been embedded in my ROM (read-only-memory) since my first usage in 1976.

  2. Azmi,
    Please don’t “blame” our government. THey are just doing what they are good at, which is being SYMBOLIC and RHETORIC!!!

  3. Support Transit!!!~~~You speak out behalf of our Rakyat voice!~Ya why Sentral??To make it more decent,more western civilize??I rather want the Puduraya stesen old name with bus services improvement!~

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