By Wendy John
SIBU, Jan 6: Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) has been urged to implement a free school bus service as a way to ease early morning traffic gridlock when parents are sending their children to school.
Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian in suggesting this at the council’s dinner last night said with this service, the number of vehicles hitting the streets would be drastically reduced.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg in tabling the state Budget 2020 in November, said the free school bus service will be implemented in Kuching earliest by April or May this year.
“Sibu needs to do the same to have the free school bus service because with it the number of cars (on the roads) will be drastically reduced. This will make Sibu a better city,” Dr Sim said in response to SMC chairman Clarence Ting raising the issue of traffic jams in town.
Ting had earlier disclosed traffic jams are a daily occurrence faced by parents sending children to and from school.
The council, he said, needs to address this issue by working with schools that are facing traffic jams such SMK Ulu Sg Merah and SJK Nang San.
“Even though the council is willing to expand that section (of road), we are hampered by telephone and electricity power poles which have yet to be shifted,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Sim urged the local community and NGOs to work with SMC to brainstorm on how to initiate the urban renewal programme under the 12th Malaysia Plan.
“A place like Sibu, you need urban renewal. You are talking about what you are going to do now and what Sibu will be like in the next 50 years from now,” he said.
Dr Sim added, the most important thing is not about better communication using high speed railway but the well-being of the residents that will make them proud of their town through proper planning.
It is also about their social-economic development, he said.
“So that is something the council has a very important role in to play besides providing municipal services,” he added. — DayakDaily