The recently announced master plan (draft) supposedly consists of a series of guidelines aimed at solving traffic congestion and the chief amongst these would be the Greater Klang Valley/Kuala Lumpur Masterplan (GKVKLM). What it means is that there is no such national master plan yet, only for KL. If this is so, then I would just like to concentrate my proposal just for KL only.
We have to accept that KL is congested and for years there has been no concrete and concerted effort to solve this nagging problem. Whatever that had been done are just temporary measures that was supposedly solve the problem for the short term but unfortunately, it never worked.
The problem must be solved holistically and common sense must prevail. The only way to resolve the problem in the long run is to de-populate the whole of the KL area or like Boston, they divert all traffic underground with proper re-routing and better network, but this is too expensive and impractical with the kind of soil condition underneath KL.
The problem with having the roads above ground is the existing structures. So no matter how well the route could be aligned, there structures will be the main obstacle. This is one of the main physical problems that is facing the currentRM50 billion Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (KVMRT) railway system. Out of that, RM20 billion is just to solve the physical obstructions! Even if this project succeeds, the problem will still occur again simply because the KL population will definitely increase and the need for better and efficient transport system has to be considered later on, thus we will be back to zero.
The whole KVMRT project could be a failure if not total disaster. This huge undertaking started with a blunder and there will be more blunders along the way. While it is intended to spur the economy, it could also be a burden. The whole project could be like the Bakun Dam. It will either be scaled down or abandoned.
Now, the problem is the population; both the residents and those coming to work in KL. It is common sense that with fewer people there is no need for such mass transit system. A huge population needs all sorts of transportation. Any development in KL will invite new inhabitants, the bigger the development the larger the number of new inhabitants, this has spiral effect on other things as well, like the need of extra accommodation, space, crime and accidents.
So instead of wasting money on the KVMRT which in the end, say twenty years time would become ineffective anymore, why not use the money to move the KL population outside the Klang Valley area?
First and foremost all the new development in KL must be stopped. The 100-storey building could be constructed in Putrajaya. The Pudu Jail land need not be developed as a commercial centre but let it just be an open green field or a park. The Sg. Besi military airbase should just be an emergency airbase. This will stop further increase in traffic and population.
Then shift out all government departments away from KL, may be to Rawang or Bukit Beruntung. This is feasible because more transaction is online now. Set mobile offices in certain areas only.
The purpose built hypermarkets must be phased out within KL and be shifted out of KL too. Hypermarkets are crowd pullers. Residents won’t use the public transport anyway, so let them drive away for their shopping. Let it be a hassle to discourage people from coming into KL and encouraging people to move out.
If possible the DBKL headquarters and the Istana Negara must also be moved out. Most of the major attractions must be out of KL too. Shift out all universities and institutes of higher learning. Shift all foreign embassies to Putrajaya.
The river enhancement project proposed by DBKL should also be scrapped because it is just another beautification project which is cosmetic. It will be constructed shoddy and be left to rot at huge costs.
Reduce the numbers of parking space in KL so as to encourage people to use the existing public transport and if many businesses are affected, so be it, the more the better; this will encourage businesses to do business elsewhere, which also provide growth in other areas, and why must everything be in KL?
What would be the result then? Surely KL will not be congested as it is now. The proposed KVMRT project could be scrapped because we may not need that after all. This money can be used to help transform KL and de-populate KL and this will also contribute growth and money well saved and spent. Life in KL will be less a hassle and healthier. Malaysia could be the example for the rest of the world on its achievement in transforming KL.
The KL transport problems also means, grievances, frustrations, congestions, taxi problems, bus problem, delays, late for work incurred RM billions in hidden costs and real terms like medical cost on health and accidents, the valuable time lost on the road, unnecessary and unpaid summons & fines must all be resolved holistically.