I can't stand it...


Written on 5/30/2005 02:59:00 pm by sikapitan

I woke up late this morning for work, realizing that in USJ (that’s UEP Subang Jaya for the clueless- located beyond Subang Jaya but before Puchong, many have blamed its existence for the congested roads leading in Subang. Town planning anyone?) 10 minutes can and do make the difference. If I leave at 6.50, I’ll reach Pusat Bandar Damansara at 7.25, which is much too early for even the most workaholic of lawyers at Zaid Ibrahim. If I leave at 7.00, I’ll reach there at 7.45, which is not too bad. But let’s just say the extra spicy tomyam you had yesterday for dinner turns your digestive system a bit haywire and you spent an extra 10 minutes in the toilet with your latest copy of FHM, FORGET ABOUT GOING OUT AT 7.15!Yeah, I’ll still reach the office before the punch-in time at 8.45, but I would have to spend 1 hour on the road, with the majority wasted just trying to get out of USJ.

So now I have decided to just don’t give a damn and wake up at 7.30, try to get out before 8, and reach the office by 9. Nobody cares anyway. But this morning I was resigned to battling it out with the rest of the corporate rats when I left the sanctity of my house, and with it my comfortable bed, at 8.02 am. Surprise surprise, the road leading out of USJ was clear. It is now the mid-term school break, and with it goes the thousands of moms (and a smattering of dads) with unkempt hair and unwashed faces from the road. I was pleasantly surprised, but it didn’t matter much on the LDP (surprisingly), because it appears everyone knew about this and decided to leave later than usual.

This daily conundrum of going out early and wasting time at the mamak or going out late and wasting time in my car is getting on my nerves. It’s obvious that no one is car-pooling, so that idea is out of the question. Every car, and I’m not exaggerating here, has a single occupant. Tough to blame them, or even me. I work at a place where the nearest LRT station is 30 minutes away-walking briskly, mind you. I’m sure I’m not alone. What if it was located near an LRT station? It doesn’t help that there is no LRT station in Subang, and the Komuter is all the way near Carrefour, which is after the troublesome jam spots anyway.

Inspired by their yearly (at least) trips to foreign countries (in particular London etc), the Government keeps on saying that we should all take public transports. I have been to London, and it is true that the people there use public transportation a lot. So do Parisians, New Yorkers and citizens of other developed metropolis in the world. Those who have been to London would say that their train/tube/bus stop is a mere 15-minutes walking distance away. But so does the bus-stop near my house, or the one near yours. What many of these “solutionista” failed to realize is that in London and Paris or whatever European country they’ve been to, every walk takes 15 minutes even if it’s actually 30 minutes.

The more accommodating climate in those regions allows the public to walk without being uncomfortable. Frankly, that is my view as to why public transportation has not really caught on with Malaysian workers. They might not admit it, but I will. I like to look good, and so do I believe most Malaysians. I have tried wearing office attire in the bus, and it just doesn’t fit. I sweat, people sweat, and smoke gets in, while cigarette smoke sticks. Even waiting for the Komuter or LRT under a shade cannot disguise the fact that it is not very comfortable. Once you reached your stop you have to walk, and in one of those hot Armageddon-like drought season, 5 minutes seems like eternity.

Call me MANJA, and I’m sure some of you would, but I HAVE been through it before. Add to the problem of the long hours waiting (yes, the LRT is pretty efficient, but from the station to your house?) makes taking public transport an uninteresting proposition. Some of you would even argue that Singapore has an efficient public transport system that’s popular. Remember, we live in Malaysia, or more specifically in this problem, Kuala Lumpur (dan kawasan2 sewaktu dengannya). Everything’s connected in Singapore easily because it’s so damn small. It’s just like you living in KL and its outskirts. Not really a problem now is it? What about those of us in the fringes of the capital, like Serdang, Subang, Petaling, Shah Alam and all those new townships cropping up like mushrooms after a rainy day? If this were Singapore, we would all be living in the sea.

So what’s the solution? I think that we have reached the breaking point for Kuala Lumpur. No amount of LRT, Monorails, bus lanes, and whatnots can hide the fact that KL and its surrounding areas are overused. Perhaps the Government did us a favor by moving government administrative functions out to Putrajaya. Slowly we are seeing more and more businesses moving its enterprise out of KL. And I believe that is the best solution. The banks especially should have their very own Putrajaya. Then spend good money not on making beautiful buildings but roads and trains that connects us all to these outskirt mini-metropolis. Don’t la develop places like Damansara and its likes. Its development has already encroached into main KL Go look at those empty lands between here and KLIA. Shopping malls and its ilk can stay in Kuala Lumpur, thank you.

Just an opinion anyway. Something to reflect upon your next encounter with Mr.Jam, and I don’t mean Michael Jackson. Go figure.

For pictures from the LonRis experience, visit my fotopage.

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