KUALA LUMPUR,. Melaka would benefit more from a state government that provides free bus services rather than multi-million ringgit initiatives geared towards tourists, PKR vice-president Shamsul Iskandar Md Akin said.
In a speech during the Ceramah Harapan at Bukit Baru Business Centre in Melaka last night, the incumbent Bukit Katil MP touted the Selangor government under his party’s leadership as an example of a people-centric administration and contrasted it to the Melaka Barisan Nasional (BN) government.
“What is the relevance of having a cable car line in Melaka? Where are they going to hang it? Geographically, Melaka does not have high peaks that would proper suit such construction.
“I am not against developments but the money spent on this kind of projects could have been put to better use,” he said in the ceramah that was also broadcast “live” over Facebook.
Shamsul was referring to the Melaka government’s proposed project called “Seven Mini Wonders” which include a 2.5km cable car line and a theme park worth RM46 million, recently announced by caretaker Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron.
The project is said to be an economic drive to lure more tourists.
He said Melaka should instead mirror the people-centric commitments of Selangor state government.
“In Selangor, the government owns about 100 units of buses that offer free rides for the convenience of those in the lower income brackets. That cost them near RM42.5 million.
“It would be better if Melaka was to adopt a similar programme to ease the people’s burden. We are a smaller state so the cost would not even be as high,” he said.
The Selangorku bus service initiative started last year and now provides free rides in three municipalities — Subang Jaya, Shah Alam and Klang — from 6am to 9pm daily.
Shamsul said Melaka does not need development that was carried out to initially boost its economy but instead became a setback for the government, citing the Melaka Monorail project as an example.
“We don’t need any more of these ‘go ahead, go astern’ type of development like Melaka Monorail.
“See what happened to it now? Various news reports said the service is subpar and once, it broke down for about 27 times in a single year,” he said.
The highly controversial RM15.9 million monorail project began operating in 2010 and halted operation for four years after the Land Public Transport Commission banned its service in 2013 following frequent breakdowns.
The service resumed operations again last December 4 last year and earlier in February , Monorail Theme Park and Studios Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Lim Boon Peng claimed it has since attracted 17,000 local and foreign tourists