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Prime Minister's Inaugural Speech

YAB Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad

17 October 2019 (Thursday), Kuala Lumpur Sentral Station

Alhamdulillah, we can gather today at the National Transport Policy Launching Ceremony 2019-2030. The launch and subsequent implementation of this policy is very important as we want to set a clear and detailed direction for the transport sector which is a driver to the growth of the nation. It helps to provide a quality transportation system and this will certainly help the Government's efforts to fulfill its aspiration to make Malaysia a developed country.

Malaysia has developed various infrastructures including transportation infrastructure for the land, air and sea sectors. It has contributed to the economic growth and competitiveness of the country at the global level. The impact of contributions from various economic sectors including the transport sector, Malaysia was ranked 25th out of 140 countries in the Global Competitiveness Report by the World Economic Forum in 2018. Besides, 2 of our ports were listed in the 20 best ports in the world in terms of container volume handled which are Port Klang ranked 12th and Port Tanjung Pelepas in Johor ranked 18th. In 2018 as well, Kuala Lumpur International Airport was ranked 12th best airport in the world in terms of the number of international passengers with 43.6 million people. In addition, the use of trains to transport goods for the first seven months of 2019 increased by 200 thousand tons compared to the same period of 2018. More and more people are choosing ETS, LRT, MRT and other services for their travel. I have been understand that ETS tickets are often sold out especially during the festive season, public holidays and school holidays. The Government will continue its efforts to improve the quality of rail services for both passenger and freight transport by upgrading the existing rail network, developing new rail lines such as the Bukit Kayu Hitam line and the Serendah - Port Klang Bypass. To improve passenger services, the Government is in the process of procuring new ETS and Monorail sets.

Recently we are witnessing the emergence of various new technologies that impact and change our lives such as e-commerce, Internet of Things or IoT, AI or artificial intelligence and so on. Of course, the transport sector is also affected and today, among others, there are vehicle sharing platforms as well as autonomous or driverless vehicles. These developments challenge us to ensure that we are able to accept and use these new technologies for the development of the country and this includes the transport sector. This technology in addition to challenging our ability to use it to improve the transportation sector, it is also a challenge for us to ensure that those affected as a result of these new technologies are not marginalized. Therefore, we need to provide a strategic direction to ensure the development of an efficient, integrated, and sustainable transportation system can be realized.

The Government has identified several current global trends and the Government is committed to addressing them as best as possible through the National Transport Policy 2019-2030. Among the main issues that need to be addressed and will be addressed through this Policy are the latest technological developments and changing trends in people's mobility with the growth of e-commerce. Technological developments including e-commerce need to be fully utilized by all parties including transportation industry players, and entrepreneurs in the field of transportation in gaining economic benefits.

Two other matters that have also received the Government's attention are the status of the country which is heading towards an older country or aging population as well as the importance of people with special needs in matters related to transportation services. Convenience at all stops, stations, and transport terminals regardless of land, air or sea transport - all should be sensitive to the current trend where the number of senior citizens is increasing. Hence, facilities at stops, stations and transport terminals should be commensurate with their physical capabilities. Awareness of the need to provide facilities to people with special needs such as people with disabilities. Special spaces and routes in terminals and in public transport vehicles should be provided adequately.

The increasing population and the migration of rural to urban population also need to be given attention by the Government. The increase in population in the city has a direct impact on the increasing need for public facilities including public transport services. The Government will continue to work to increase the number of public transport services, including through rail service construction projects in the city to meet the needs of the urban population. When there is an increase in transportation needs, it will also directly impact the environment. The government is taking a stand to make the people aware of green practices as practiced globally. Among the actions planned in this policy are to establish guidelines for the construction of transport infrastructure including rail routes to control the impact of construction on the environment, as well as Transit-Oriented Development or TOD practices that encourage development in areas with transport facilities such as public transport terminals so that residents around easy to get to the terminal.

Apart from that, the Government also needs to increase the public's accessibility to information on public transport services, including through social media, to make it easier for passengers to get the latest schedule of transport services and thus reduce the use of private transport. Also of serious concern by the Government is the increase in trade by sea, and the expectation of a doubling of airline passengers in less than two decades from now. To this end, industry players especially in the air and sea sectors should take advantage of the increase in demand by increasing the volume of their services to meet current needs, which will also provide the benefits of economic growth to the Country. This policy will ensure that Malaysia remains a business -friendly country, meets the needs of the industry, and is able to compete internationally in the transportation industry. Malaysia chose not to limit the number of private vehicles. Therefore, internal, and rural roads had to be built all the time. To reduce congestion due to this increase, the Government will encourage the use of public transport. This includes supplying twin electric rails. Rail usage is still at a low level. Heavy vehicles still use a lot of roads. The presence of heavy and large vehicles on the road invites accidents. It is better if large and heavy freight uses an existing rail system. If the current system is not sufficient the Government will seek to supplement this facility from the revenue which will increase if the rail system is used more for loading goods, especially heavy and large ones. Studies will be made so that our rail system will be fully utilized. Private parties are invited to propose and invest as well as rent existing tracks.

The National Transport Policy 2019-2030 is in line with the Vision for Shared Prosperity 2021-2030 which aims at equitability of outcomes. The National Transport Policy 2019-2030 emphasizes on inclusiveness in the participation of the people as well as industry players in the economic activities of the transport sector, especially public transport. Through strategic planning, cooperation, and commitment of all parties, including the industry and the people, the Government through the Ministry of Transport is able to provide a sustainable transportation system that can drive economic growth and thus ensure the well -being of the people. Lastly, in the words of Bismillahirrahmanirrahim, I officially launch the National Transport Policy 2019-2030.

Thank you.

Inaugural Speech Video by YAB Prime Minister
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