SUBANG JAYA, June 30 ― Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak took a swipe at Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today, blaming him for the underdeveloped state of the country's public transportation network.
At the launch of the Kelana Jaya and Ampang LRT Line Extension today, Najib said he made improving public transportation a priority when he became prime minister as the issue had become "increasingly serious."
"This is because my predecessor who ruled for 22 years did not pay much attention to public transportation," he said at the launch ceremony here.
"Therefore it created a vacuum, it caused underinvestment, it created a poorly integrated system owned by multiple people that cannot accommodate the needs of a modern city, and the traffic congestion has gotten more serious."
Najib added that the RM8 billion spent to improve and better integrate the LRT lines was a worthwhile investment as the Klang Valley was vital to the country's economic growth.
"In fact, there was a study by Bank Negara Malaysia that suggested traffic congestion could be causing a loss in GDP growth of about two per cent," he said.
"Therefore, if we can provide more efficient public transport and reduce traffic, then we can improve the country's growth by two per cent."
The project by Prasarana Malaysia Berhad involves the launch of 12 new stations on the Kelana Jaya Line and 11 new stations on the Ampang Line with an extension of 17.4 km and 17.7 km of the lines respectively.
With the new extension, Prasarana estimates an increase of daily LRT users of up to 300,000 ― 170,000 for the Kelana Jaya Line and 130,000 for the Ampang Line.