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theSun | WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 28 2009 13

speak up!

thesun says

Legislate laws quickly Public transport: PM in the driver’s seat

to protect maids MOST Malaysians are aware
of the poor state of our public
line, RapidKL buses, and even
the Langkawi Cable Car). Najib
minister be in charge of the
Land Transport Commission in
transport. Some might blame is responsible for ensuring that a paper written for the Finance
EVEN as Deputy Foreign Min- Some have already said that it as Asia’s largest importers of it on the division of responsi- Prasarana buys good buses, Ministry last year.
ister A. Kohilan Pillay was as- is bound to happen as there are foreign labour, Malaysia has bilities among 13 government and that RapidKL plans the What this means is that
suring Parliament that all is well certainly black sheep among for sometime been criticised agencies. Others might focus best routes and operates in the Najib will be responsible for
in relations between Malaysia the thousands who employ for not passing legislation to on the competition between most efficient, service-oriented unravelling the complicated
and Indonesia following the foreign maids just as there govern the rights of the maids companies. Still others may and cost-effective way. relationships between the 13
bad patch the two neighbours are black sheep among the and their working conditions. call for LRT extensions or Anyone who has read the agencies and pushing forward
had to go through about two thousands of maids Malaysians The government has reacted other solutions. But everyone auditor-general’s report would with a positive agenda for
months ago, something hap- employ. to these criticisms by announc- wonders who is supposed to know that Prasarana has done public transport. It will not be
pened for the country now to But while employers have all ing that these laws are in the be taking responsibility for fix- a poor job with procurement easy because he will be taking
brace itself for another torrent kinds of laws to protect them works but so far nothing has ing the problems in our public and there is general agreement on four different and significant
of accusations from the other and can easily avail themselves been heard of them. It is about transport. that RapidKL is not doing what roles.
side. of the services of the police and time these proposed laws are The answer is as interest- it promised – so we expect that Najib will have to guide the
An Indonesia domestic maid the Immigration Department tabled in Parliament and judg- ing as it is surprising; when it Najib will have to shake things Land Transport Commission
died almost at the same time to hunt down runaway maids, ing from the interest shown in comes to public transport in up a bit. into existence, navigate a
Kohilan was saying on Monday there are no laws to protect the well-being of the maids and Malaysia, Prime Minister Datuk As prime minister, Najib treacherous political minefield
that the opposition parties in the maids except after they the good relations between Seri Najib Razak is firmly in the was responsible for introduc- to bring 13 agencies in line, dis-
Jakarta were as much to be have managed to escape from Malaysia and Indonesia they are driver’s seat. He also bought ing a key result area for public solve the Commercial Vehicles
blamed for the anger against their abusive employers. Most certain to be easily endorsed by the bus, planned the routes, transport, with specific goals to Licensing Board, improve the
Malaysia. Mantik Hani from employers are husbands and legislators from both sides of and is working to get all parties improve public transport to 25% public consultation process,
Surabaya, 36, succumbed to wives who pursue high paying the divide. talking to each other to improve usage in urban areas (down win back the support of a jaded
her wounds in the Tengku jobs leaving the care of their public transport. from the earlier 40% goal). And public, and make sure that the
Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in homes and children to maids Most Malaysians may not while we may be disappointed bus operators and taxi drivers
Klang. She was found a week who are mostly imported from But while be aware that Najib was ap- that the goal was reduced, we behave.
ago bound with bruises and Indonesia. After it surfaced that employers have all pointed as chair of the cabinet are happy to see that signifi- On top of all that, he will
vicious wounds all over her a number of employers of these kinds of laws to protect committee on public transport cant attention is being given to have to find the money to build
body locked in a bathroom of maids physically abuse them in 2007. The committee was improving public transport, with public transport networks that
a house belonging to a market – even sexually, pay them low
them and can easily the first government organisa- the Performance Management serve all Malaysians, not just
trader. She was rescued by wages and keep them locked avail themselves of the tion that was really tasked to and Delivery Unit engaged in the residents of Kuala Lumpur,
police but failed to respond to up in their houses, the public services of the police improve public transport from a lab to find solutions for the and ensure that the money
treatment at the hospital. reacted by demanding for laws and the Immigration the low 16% usage to a higher KTM crisis, and the transport is disbursed fairly and not
As expected the Indonesian to be legislated to protect these Department to hunt 40% usage. And while the com- minister chairing the urban overspent or wasted or lost to
media are already screaming guest workers. mittee does not meet often, it public transport panel. corruption.
bloody murder and putting It has been already ac- down runaway maids, is the most important public Lastly, it appears that Najib It is not going to be easy.
pressure on their government knowledged that some people there are no laws to transport body in the country. has taken it upon himself But hopefully, the people will
to take the necessary course do not qualify to be employers protect the maids As finance minister, Najib to become the chair of the give Najib all the support and
of action so that Mantik Hani of maids and they should, except after they have is responsible for the Finance Land Transport Commission feedback that he needs (email:
did not die in vain, so that therefore, be prevented from Ministry which owns infrastruc- when it is formed next year. najib@1malaysia.com.my).
others who are employed as employing them. But without
managed to escape ture company Prasarana (which Transit (The Association for the
maids in Malaysia do not have proper regulations it is dif- from their abusive in turn owns the assets of the Improvement of Mass Transit) Moaz Yusuf Ahmad
to suffer the same fate as her. ficult to prevent them. In fact employers. RapidKL LRT lines, KL monorail suggested that the prime Transit

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