KUALA LUMPUR: Another Pakatan Harapan campaign promise, a RM100 monthly pass for unlimited travel on public transport, will take more time to deliver, according to Transport Minister Anthony Loke.
He said when PH came up with the idea prior to the 14th general election (GE14) it did not have access to figures related to the costs of carrying out such an initiative, as it was then the opposition.
However, he also pointed out that the idea, although a campaign promise, was not part of the 100-day plan set out in the Pakatan Harapan election manifesto.
Loke said the proposal involved financial implications and would therefore have to be brought to the Cabinet before a decision could be made.
Yesterday, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said five promises in the election manifesto would be delayed.
Loke said Pakatan Harapan could not study the idea of the travel pass “as we had limited knowledge on numbers that were needed to study the financial implications of cost incurred should the ministry introduce such a plan”.
Certain costs may need a government subsidy. “We have yet to finalise these figures.”
Subsidies were needed for certain projects under his ministry, he said. “We need to study it in detail before we make a decision,” he said. “Anything with financial implications must be channelled to the Cabinet for further determination,” he said.
He said these included the ongoing free-to-ride GO KL bus service for which the government provides a subsidy of RM12 million a year. “There are 36 buses running daily, with 70,000 passengers using the bus service,” Loke said. “SPAD has proposed that the service continue until further direction by the Cabinet.”
The Johor Bahru–Singapore Rapid Transit System link would proceed but Singapore’s SMRT Corporation had been asked to delay the signing of a joint-venture agreement by a month. The signing was supposed to take place on June 30.
“We just need to finalise how we can lower the cost of the project,” he said. Loke said that he was made to understand that the cost was RM4 billion.