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Until and unless public transport rider-ship exceeds 70 percent, Kuala Lumpur is not prepared for congestion pricing. It’s just toll by another name. The proposal for congestion pricing also runs against previous policy of urban rejuvenation or “bringing the residents back into city centre” and likely to result in serious social and economic impact

Joint Statement issued at “Congestion Pricing in Kuala Lumpur” workshop
by Dr. Tan Seng Giaw, Tan Kok Wai, Fong Kui Lun, Teresa Kok and Ean Yong Hian Wah 


(Kuala Lumpur, Monday) :  Placing ‘congestion pricing’ on motorists in Kuala Lumpur with no adequate alternative means of transportation is merely collecting toll by another name that would not resolve congestion in the city centre but simply make life harder for the people of Klang Valley.


The proposal affects not only residents in Kuala Lumpur but also the 2 million commuters from neighbouring Selangor.


While DAP commends City Hall’s gesture to invite wakil rakyat from both sides for consultation, we are appalled by the fact that the Federal Government and the City Hall bothers to entertain such idea like congestion pricing when there is no adequate and efficient public transport as alternative to private vehicles.


Isn’t this classic example of putting the cart before the horse? Engaging in quick-fix like congestion pricing would not resolves jams in KL as motorists had no credible and workable alternative.


DAP FT and DAP Selangor oppose any measure of congestion pricing until such day when 70 percent or more people in KL utilize public transport system.


It was pointed out Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi in his 2005 Budget Speech that the public transport utilization rate in Klang Valley has declined from 34 percent in 1985 to 16 percent in 2004. In most other countries, the more a society urbanizes the more people takes public transport as it is the most efficient way of moving people.


The decline in usage of public transport partly reflects increased car ownership but also reflects the sorry state of public transport in Kuala Lumpur. Driving is not a luxurious pursuit but an unfortunate necessity in KL. It’s just so difficult to move around in the city without a car.


Policy Shift?

The proposal is effectively running against the stated policy of previous Structural Plan and local plans, as well as that of City Hall under the administration of the two former Mayors, which is to encourage urban rejuvenation or “bringing the residents back into city centre.” The implementation of congestion pricing would surely deter people from staying in the city centre.


Can the City Hall explain clearly whether there has been a quiet policy shift from bringing the residents back to making KL even less bearable as residential area with the introduction of congestion pricing?  


Socio-economic Impact

To impose congestion pricing on motorists would not reduce congestion in KL. It would burden the public with a form of toll or highway robbery.


The socio-economic impact of such policy is grave as it would change the pattern of people mobility and may result in making the city centre a ghost town with no worker wishing to work there and no shopper to shop there. 


Entertaining the idea of congestion pricing at this very premature time reflects the City Hall’s poor understanding of policy choices. We call on the Mayor to stop all these nonsense and work towards creating an efficient public transport sector to ease traffic of private vehicles in the city.



*DAP Federal Territory MPs Dr. Tan Seng Giaw (Kepong), Tan Kok Wai (Cheras), Fong Kui Lun (Bukit Bintang) and Teresa Kok (Seputeh), and DAP Selangor Chairman Ean Yong Hian Wah 

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