The government has made changes to the Emergency Transport Scheme (ETS) rules that will see buses and trains stop at red lights, in a move that some campaigners have criticised as unfair.
The new rules, which are expected to be published in March, will be rolled out on March 2 and come into effect on March 6.
Critics of the scheme say it is a way to boost business for some industries, but also risks the future of the country, which is struggling with its biggest ever economic crisis.
Under the changes, the government will be able to set the red lights at red for buses, cars, and trains.
However, some opposition politicians have argued that it could also be used for private vehicles.
The changes come after Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the scheme could only be used in the national capital for a certain number of hours per day.
“There are restrictions around the number of vehicles allowed to enter and exit the city.
This will ensure that people can safely reach their destinations at designated times,” he said in a statement.
Bus and train services in Kuala Lumpur will also be restricted to two hours per weekday and six hours per weekend.
Other changes to ETS rules are likely to come into force later this month.
An opposition MP, Datuk Ibrahim Ahmad, told The Straits Times that he has written to the minister asking for the scheme to be changed to accommodate different vehicles and operators.
I have also written to Minister Hishamuddin Hussein to ask for the restriction of two hours and six days per week, he said.
On Sunday, he wrote to the ministry, saying the new rules were “unfair and a clear attempt to benefit the interests of private vehicles and private operators”.
He said the government had failed to protect the public from the “unavoidable risks” of the changes.
He also said the new scheme should be allowed to operate for as long as the national economy is strong.
But Hishemuddin Hussein countered by saying that it was too early to discuss any changes to it.
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