KUALA LUMPUR: There are high expectations from the public that the Road Transport Department Stakeholders Panel and Puspakom Monitoring Board will help rid the transport sector of corruption.
Comprising members of non-governmental organisations and political parties, transport experts and consumer activists, the two bodies have been established to improve integrity in the department and Puspakom, the vehicle inspection agency.
The bodies were set up yesterday as there is a growing feeling that corruption is one of the reasons for the 6,000 road deaths every year. Experts say errant motorists offer bribes to escape punishment after breaking road rules or to get their vehicles approved during the road-worthiness test.
Department director-general Suret Singh said fatalities could be reduced only if there was integrity, especially during the driving test and car-inspection process.
The two bodies will report to Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat.
Those involved in the transport business, experts and consumer champions are hoping the two panels will prove effective.
Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research director-general Prof Dr Ahmad Farhan Mohd Sadullah said corruption in the department and Puspakom was a stumbling block in efforts to reduce fatalities. "If corruption can be reduced, motorists will not break road rules as often as now. And if we can solve the kereta potong issue, we will have safer cars on the road."
Pan Malaysia Lorry Association president Er Sui See wants to push for change in the way Puspakom and the department treat the association and lorry drivers.
"I do not want any more trouble between them and us."
He added that he did not want Puspakom to fail its vehicles over petty issues such as paint peeling off.
"We want Puspakom to have a standard ruling. But now, it depends on the officer handling the matter."
Selangor Factory Workers Bus Association president Jackie Chew wants the waiting time for vehicle inspections to be cut to half a day.
Some of its drivers had to wait for 10 hours and it was causing them to lose business, she said.
"Sometimes, our vehicles do not pass Puspakom's test due to small things such as torn cushions and we have to come back the next day."
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