4 PKR MPs Ride it Out to the Parliament: A Gimmick?

I am amused with the Malaysiakini news MPs pedal people’s plight to Parliament (http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/84890). But as will be shown in this post, I felt rather sad about the whole thing.

Tian Chua (Batu), N Gobalakrishnan (Padang Serai), Zulkifli Noordin (Kulim) and Hee Loy Hian (Petaling Jaya Selatan) were not only protesting against the fuel price hike; they were also protesting the motion of support for the price hikes tabled by Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Shahrir Abdul Samad.

Now, in the first instance, I would congratulate these 4 MPs (Members of Parliament) for their act. In that sense this is not a gimmick like what Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz said it to be. After all, the main-stream media is likely to ignore (the mainstream media may not even entertain them?) if these 4 MPs decide to call a press conference to voice out their dissatisfaction over those issues.

“We are riding bicycles to show the ministers the hardship faced by the public and we have decided to go against the motion,” said Chua.

He stressed that the government was inconsiderate and did not hear the plight of poor people in hiking the prices.

“The government wants people to change their lifestyle but riding bicycles is not practical with present road designs and we have poor public transportation,” he added.


Can you imagine cycling in the hot tropical sun? Actually I think that Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz may be right. The four PKR MPs may be doing the cycling for a political stunt. Afterall, they have cycled only from Bank Negara to the Parliament.

This is what he said as reported by the Malaysiakini news MPs pedal people’s plight to Parliament (http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/84890) :

They shouldn’t make a gimmick and this is not in line with their status as (MPs),” he told reporters.

He said the four PKR leaders should have employed a “better approach” to help the nation instead of riding bicycles.

I wonder what would be the “better approach”?

Perhaps these 4 PKR MPs would be more credible if they can cycle from their homes.


Imagine if you live in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Damansara Utama (SS21), or Damansara Jaya (SS22) or in Bandar Utama: would you want to cycle to go to work, let say if you work in Ampang?

Or perhaps if you live in Subang Jaya, would you want to cycle all the way to KL? What if you live in Serdang or Seputeh… would you want to cycle that far to work?

And thus the suggestions by the 4 MPs are merely “gimmick”?

Now talking about political gimmick, I am quite surprised with the news – Khalid’s special officer suspended (http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/84882). Hey what’s going on with PKR? Just a little after 100 days in power and a PKR politician is now under investigation…

What kind of gimmick is that?

Can some one please explain? I have some opinions about it but I suppose this should be written in another entry….

Now, back to the cycling issue: There are many reasons why people don’t like to cycle. One reason is that they are not fit enough to cycle that far (esp. when their homes are far from work or office). The other is that the roads are not safe. This has been indicated in this news item.

And yet another reason is that there are no shower facilities in the office. I wonder how many employers in KL have shower facilities… well of course you can take a bath in the toilet.. but doing so is so … what’s the word… gross or grosse???… See this post  Sweating it out: Cycling, Exercising and Shower Facilities for some more about the issue of cycling and showering…

And many other reasons too…. for not cycling or for that matter for not using alternative modes of transport even though the price of fuel has dramatically increased.

All these indicate that you cannot just say – if petrol price goes up, use alternative means of transportation. The moral of this story i.e. the Malaysiakini story MPs pedal people’s plight to Parliament (http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/84890) shows the difficulties of getting people to cycle as an alternative to driving the car..

The same “concept” can be illustrated if one were to ask those who normally drive to commute to work using public transportation…Can you imagine asking someone who has driven his or her car at their own convenience to suddenly ditch the car and use the bus or other modes of public transport? Imagine having to endure waiting for the buses that never seem to come on time. Imagine the rail and light rail system that does not really connect people to places where they really want to go!

When one talks about transportation, one has to think about a system… and not just one or certain component(s) of that system*.

Hence and regretfully all these alternative transportation schemes at this stage may just be gimmicks…

So sad…

*In my analysis the car embodies the best mode of transportation given the existing system. Because the car (or any other automobile) is the best way to get from point A to point B in any (or most) conceivable situation. Just to illustrate: Last time when I was in KL, I want to go to the convenience store. It was just after midnight. I wanted to walk, but my uncle said no – better to use the car, because it is safer! And just to note – the convenience store is actually quite close to the house….


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