Transport Ministry ‘castrated’ by new law, says DAP

The DAP today slammed the recent restructuring of the Transport Ministry under the proposed Land Public Transport Bill, claiming it had “castrated” the role of the ministry.

Top DAP leaders, led by secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, told reporters in Parliament that the proposed law meant that the Transport Ministry was now only involved in air and sea transport, and not land.

“The Bill has reduced, and some would say castrated, the ministry to insignificance. In the past, railways, land, airports were part of the ministry. Now (it) is only involved in sea and air, but not land.”

“What’s the use of controlling air and sea if you cannot land?” asked Lim, who was accompanied by DAP MPs Liew Chin Tong and Tony Pua.

Lim, who is also the Penang Chief Minister, claimed that when he had asked Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat why the ministry was no longer in control of land transportation, Ong had told him the prerogative to answer the question was with the Prime Minister’s Department.

“This shows that the minister does not care. Your ministry has been reduced to insignificance. How will this improve the transportation and communication sector?

“If the railways are under a different ministry, don’t call it the transport ministry. We are witnessing the reduction of the transport ministry held by the MCA,” Lim continued.

The Bill has gone through the first reading in Parliament.

Under the proposed law, the railway system will effectively fall under the Prime Minister’s Department.

“[In] Ong Tee Keat’s reply to the media via SMS, he claimed that all this while [thr] transport system had been under many agencies, 13 agencies, therefore the public transport Bill was nothing new… [although] it has taken away the railway (system) which is a significant part of the transport ministry,” said Bukit Bendera MP Liew.

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