by Parliamentary Opposition Leader , DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Friday, 18th February 1994:
Penang Municipal bus service chaos is not a ‘Chinese New Year gift’ but ‘Chinese New Year night-mare’ from MPPP President, Tan Gim Hwa to the 30,000 bus commuters on the island
The Penang Municipal bus service chaos in the past three days is not a ‘Chinese New Year gift’ but ‘Chinese New Year nightmare’ from the MPPP President, Datuk Tan Gim Hwa to the 30,000 bus commuters on the island.
The Penang Municipal bus service chaos is a man-made chaos which is completely avoidable. It has highlighted the unfitness of Tan Gim Hwa to be MPPP President because of his indifference and insensitivity to the sufferings of the 30,000 bus commuters caused by the chaos in the Penang Municipal Council bus service.
Tan Gim Hwa’s argument that such, chaos is a necessary prelude to the privatisation of the MPPP bus service is completely unacceptable, and is the height of incompetence and ineptitude of the MPPP President.
The explanation that the MPPP’s normal 82 bus fleet had to be reduced to 10 on Tuesday and 15 on Wednesday to prepare for privatisation of the Municipal bus service on March 1 leaving thousands of commuters stranded and late for work and ‘other appointments is ‘cockeyed’ and utterly absurd.
Why must 42 of the Municipal buses be grounded at the same time for Road Transport Department examination before they are handed over to Syarikat Kenderaan Juara to operate the priva¬tised bus service from March 1?
Is it beyond the intelligence and capability of Tan Gim Hwa and the Road Transport Department to arrange for the exam-ination of the 42 Municipal buses in a staggered manner as to minimise disruption and sufferings to the 30,000 regular daily bus commuters on the island?
Isn’t convenience of the public the highest priority over all other considerations in the public service, whether MPPP or JPJ? In the past few months, there had been a lot of publicity about the ‘Clients’ Charter’ in the various departments, but they have proved to be empty charters!
If Tan Gim Hwa cannot plan the privatisation of the Municipal bus service with the minimum of chaos, inconvenience and suffering to the commuters, then he has no right to serve another two-year term as MPPP President beginning next Monday.
Penang Chief Minister, Dr. Ken Tsu Koon, should ask Gim Hwa to return to his accountancy practice after the expiry of his two-year appointment as MPPP President tomorrow – but unfortunately, Tsu Koon does not have the political power to do what is right and good for the Penang Island ratepayers.
Tan Gim Hwa owes to the thousands of bus commuters on the island a personal apology for the inconvenience, sufferings and hardships caused by the completely avoidable Municipal bus service chaos since Tuesday.