This blog has always been keen and passionate about public transportation for the longest time.
What Malaysia needs is a world class public transportation system which can connect people efficiently, more so in the Klang Valley. The acute problem in traffic, compounded by increasing number of cars have made public transportation one of the key NKRA of Najib’s administration.
As such, the effort to upgrade the public transportation (buses, LRT, MRT, monorail etc) is paramount to alleviate the choking problem faced by the people in the capital city. Time lost by the people stuck in traffic jams costs money and opportunity loss.
Therefore, we find it vital that the public transportation especially the LRT and MRT must be the impetus in attracting the people to use public transportation.
But the news we heard today is both disappointing and alarming. It seems the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) is up in arms against the government in providing a better service for the general public.
PETALING JAYA: A LRT extension construction company is unhappy that its contractors were prevented from carrying out their work, by a group of MIC members and parents from Castlefield Tamil School.
Prasarana Negara Berhad (Prasarana) said it is extremely disappointed that efforts to build an LRT Line Extension Project (LEP) have been hindered by reckless actions of these individuals.
They also claimed that the individuals, who had formed a blockade in front of the school yesterday, scuffled with auxiliary policemen from the company, resulting in a senior officer being injured.
This is despite Prasarana obtaining an injunction to enter part of the school compound and informing the school authorities of the planned work to be undertaken.
“This is the third time that we have made effort to enter the site. We have stated repeatedly that we will ensure minimum interruption to the children’s studies while construction of the LEP is underway,” said Prasarana’s group director of the project development division, Zulkifli Md Yusoff.
“We are dedicated to ensuring that the well-being of the schoolchildren and their teachers are not compromised during this period. Apart from enhancing the school’s facilities, we would also ensure the safety of the children and public,” he added.
Yesterday, around 60 MIC Youth members and the parents led by former MIC Youth Chief T Mohan prevented Prasarana’s constructors from entering the school. They also urged Prasarana to sign an agreement before starting the extension work.
No need for school to be relocated
It is learnt the school administration had passed a memorandum to Prasarana for a mutual agreement where it wants the company to provide RM20 million to build a new school on six-acre plot given by Selangor state government.
However, Prasarana stressed that it is going to occupy only 0.47 acres of 2.8 acres of the school compound and upon completion of the project, the five LRT piers will only occupy 20 metres of space.
“It is important for the public to understand that LEP can coexist with the school harmoniously and there is no need for the school to be relocated for this project to commence,” said Zulkifly.
“Moreover, the Education ministry has set a requirement that 100% approval from all parents must be obtained for the relocation. But, a group of 80 parents came out to voice their disagreement,” he added.
“Prasarana will build sound-proof barriers, improve the school’s facilities, including installing air-con units in classrooms and improve the landscape by planting trees and foliage as a gesture of goodwill.
“There are many benefits to consider, the key of which is improved transport convenience for the students and surrounding residents to the greater LRT network in Klang Valley,” he said.
The 17.7km LRT extension of the Ampang line under the National Key Result Area (NKRA) would directly benefit residents in Petaling, Bandar Kinrara, Puchong and Putra Heights.
It is learnt that a 180-metre stretch passes the edge of the Castlefield school, running parallel to the Puchong Damansara Higway (LDP) and the construction of the five pillars.
MIC should be held responsible for this transgression as its unruly members are working against the government’s effort to vitalise the LRT service. Furthermore, it seems the school board of Castlefield are getting more and more greedy when all effort was given by the government to ease any hardship which may be borne by the school (giving airconds, building a hall and school facilities etc) and even throwing away RM20 million of taxpayers money just to build another school!
RM20 million of our money to be used just because of a 0.47 acres of space? The school board must be out of their mind!
God forbid if they would also want to control that RM20 million and pick their own contractors themselves!
On top of that, MIC and the school board are knowingly defying a court order. In a civilised country such as Malaysia, defying a court order will have severe repercussions. Will the leadership of MIC take responsibility over the action of their members?
All this stupidity by working against the public’s wellbeing should stop.
Castlefield Tamil School is not the first school to have a train line adjacent to it and nor will it be the last. In Malaysia, they are many schools which have similar scenario and they pose no problems for the students.
As a matter of fact, according to this report, there are several LRT lines which has been built near schools, such as:
- Sekolah Methodist Wesley, Sentul, KL
- SRJK (T) Appar, Jalan Merpati, KL
- SRJK (C) Chong Kwok, Jalan Merpati, KL
- SK (L) Jalan Batu, KL
The ball is in MIC’s court. Please get a clearer picture from both sides of the affected party. Do not be swayed by petty politics to the detriment of greater good.
As for the greedy school board, enough is enough.