PETALING JAYA: Transport and tourism groups are hailing the dissolution of the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD), calling it a “thorn” in their side.
Malaysian Association of Taxi, Rental Car and Limousine Drivers president Zailani Isaisuludin said he had not seen any improvement in the handling of issues since SPAD’s formation in 2010 under the Land Public Transport Act.
Taxi drivers, said Zailani, preferred for all public transport matters to be handled by the Transport Ministry, adding that SPAD’s existence only increased red tape.
“With SPAD, there are four permits that taxi drivers have to apply for and carry at all times.
“In the past, we only had to carry one,” he said, adding that returning SPAD’s functions to the ministry would also streamline administrative procedures for the taxi drivers.
Selangor and Kuala Lumpur Lorry Operators Association secretary-general Alvin Choong concurred.
“The additional red tape creates more loopholes for corruption. All applications should be direct and done through one body,” he said.
Choong said similarly, Puspakom’s functions should also go under the ministry.
Malaysia Inbound Tourism Association president Uzaidi Udanis claimed that SPAD had been unresponsive to issues voiced out by travel operators.
“We have been communicating with SPAD but there were a lot of issues left unresolved, which complicate things for industry players,” said Uzaidi.
He cited the example of the guidelines on the type of vehicles that could be used in tours.
“In Thailand, they can use higher- end vans but here, only certain vans can be used,” he said.
The existence of SPAD also meant that tour vehicles could receive summons from multiple agencies, he said.
“Tour vehicles can be summoned by the police, Road Transport Department and SPAD.
“It’s better for the licensing of tour vehicles to be handled by the Tourism Ministry as it has the statistics on tourism. So, it will know how many vehicles are needed,” he added.
It is understood that SPAD top brass will be meeting with the Transport Ministry today to discuss specifics of the transition.
Many SPAD staff were caught off guard by the televised announcement, which was short on details.
Former chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar said the Government should rethink the abolition as it was too drastic a move.
“The staff are not political appointees but young professionals who have established good reputation regionally and internationally.
“It’s all right for it to be brought under the Transport Ministry. I believe the ministry will have a discussion with SPAD on the fate of its staff,” he said.