PETALING JAYA: Netizens have criticised Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s announcement that all RapidKL services will be free of charge for a month starting today in a bid to boost public transport usage.
Ismail’s announcement, made during the official opening of Phase 1 of the MRT Putrajaya Line today, means that commuters can ride for free on the MRT, LRT, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), monorail or RapidKL bus services for a month.
Describing it as a move to win votes ahead of the next general election (GE15), social media users also said that it was more important to address public transport issues such as overcrowding and service breakdowns.
“This is just an election goodie. After GE, it will still be Umno that’s ruling, and the people will be doomed. The people can already see this is just a goodie,” said @solehudinrosman on Twitter.
Another Twitter user, @atashaalina, said the government only knew how to “feed the people with free things” but was incapable of solving more pressing issues.
A user with the handle @nizanLFCs said the move would not solve the issue of overcrowding on public transport, while @bazziness said ensuring the trains were well maintained was more important than giving free rides for a month.
A user with the handle @sofeahjoned pointed out that taxpayers will have to bear the cost of Ismail’s announcement.
“Actually, in the end, we’re the ones who will have to pay for this,” she said.
A user with the handle @LeBarnacle also questioned the wisdom of the move, pointing out that the government is in debt to the tune of billions of ringgit.
Meanwhile, @VedajayaS said that rather than offering a “temporary alternative”, Ismail should work on addressing the current economic difficulties that Malaysians are facing.
“That will help us in the long run. Thank you,” he said.