It has just been officially announced by Istana Negara via a statement that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has been appointed as the 10th prime minister of Malaysia, with the swearing-in ceremony to be held at Istana Negara at 5pm today.

While Pakatan Harapan – and its new coalition partners that will be needed to form the mandatory 112-seat majority for a federal government – starts preparing to go about its business of running the country, let’s look back at the transport-related pledges it made in its GE15 manifesto, to see what has been promised.

One of the major talking points in the manifesto was about the rising cost of living, and addressing that is one of PH’s main promises. Among other things, the coalition said it would be “reviewing highway concessions” as part of its plans to tackle the issue.

“The Harapan administration has shown commitment in reviewing all highway concession agreements and negotiating to get the best prices, leading to toll rates being reduced by 18% for the North-South Expressway (PLUS) and the East-Coast Expressway Phase 2 (LPT 2). Harapan is determined to continue reducing PLUS tolls gradually with the ultimate goal of eliminating tolls and returning PLUS highway to public ownership,” the manifesto said.

PLUS toll rates went down by 18% in Feb 2020 – click to enlarge

In the “living comfortably in our golden years” section, the coalition pledged free public transportation rides for senior citizens, improving on the current policy of offering a 50% discount.

People with disabilities (OKUs) have been promised enhanced support and accessibility. This will be done by increasing the number of facilities and public transportation that are OKU-friendly, while also ensuring that development projects fulfil Universal Design standards. “It is time to recognise that the needs of the PWDs in public facilities and public transportation cannot be neglected,” PH says.

Under the “enhancing public transport connectivity” topic, the coalition “is determined to expand the coverage of public transportation to ensure that the rakyat’s welfare is taken care of and at the same time, reduce pollution and dependency on fuel. A developed city cannot exist without a robust public transportation network.”

As for the public transport category, there are a few specific proposals. Under “ease of access, ease of travel”, PH has promised that 80% of urban areas will have bus stops and train stations within 10 minutes of walking, and that the waiting period for any public transportation service, especially buses, should not be more than 10 minutes. To fulfil these requirements, PH says that it will need 10,000 buses for cities throughout Malaysia, 7,000 of which will operate in the Klang Valley.

Currently, Rapid KL offers the My50 rail and bus monthly travel pass for RM50. The party wants to also introduce a fare limit for those who do not want/need the monthly pass. The fare limit of RM5 per day is to encourage more citizens to use public transport, especially those who are not daily users. Think of this as a RM5 daily pass.

PH will also push forward the regulation and legalisation of “micro mobility” devices such as e-scooters and e-bikes for first and last mile connections. It said the government can partner with ride-hailing services to offer transportation vouchers for those going to transit stations. This offer can be priced at RM5 per voucher and up to 10 vouchers would be given via e-wallet to be used for trips that begin or end at a public transport station.

Lastly, PH plans to expand public transport payment methods to include debit cards and e-wallets, compared to the current system of only accepting Touch ‘n Go cards. It will be interesting to see how many of these pledges will go through.