Anwar: No point building best roads if we don’t care for them

The Malaysian government today launched yet another new campaign – MyJalan – to get Malaysians to love roads.

This includes the introduction of a mobile application – MyJalan KKR – available for download on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. The mobile application is a one-stop centre for the public to report issues such as potholes, faulty traffic lights, broken street lights, damaged signboards, malfunctioning public facilities, and landslides. This includes roads not under the purview of the Works Ministry.

Twentytwo13, had last month reported about plans by the government to create a campaign to get Malaysians “to love roads”.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who launched the campaign earlier today, congratulated the Works Ministry for the initiative, but stressed that it was also important to educate the public on the need to take care of our roads and other public amenities.

“We need accountability in everything, including taking care of property, roads,  and other public amenities,” he said, citing a recent example where the Education Ministry spent a whopping RM1.4 billion to repair toilets in schools nationwide.

“We have good facilities and roads, but the people do not take care of them. A case in point is the need to spend more than a billion ringgit on toilets.

“That is one reason for this campaign, as we want the public to be more responsible.”

Works Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi and Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad were also at the launch.

There were 545,588 road accidents with 6,080 fatalities in Malaysia last year. While the majority of road accidents were attributed to human behaviour (80.6 per cent), a study by the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research showed that other factors, such as the design and condition of the road infrastructure (13.2 per cent), and the state of the vehicles (6.2 per cent), also played a role.

“Although the accident rate is low, with better maintained roads and vehicles, we can reduce the number further,” said Alexander, who urged Malaysians to take advantage of the MyJalan KKR app.

“The roads are our shared responsibility, so road users, industry players, and government agencies must work together.

“My ministry will be more proactive and transparent in dealing with reports, as we believe that action speaks louder than words.”

Alexander also thanked Anwar for increasing his ministry’s budget, and granting an additional RM370 million.

Of that figure, RM50 million is for the upgrading of street lights in high-risk areas, and RM20 million for the districts.

Separately, Anwar revealed that the government will give a one-off payment of RM1,000 to the families of 87 former construction workers of the East-West Highway (FT004), to honour them and those who died in communist terrorist attacks during the construction period.

He also said the government will spend an additional RM30 million to upgrade the highway.