10 touts test positive for drugs

KUALA LUMPUR - Ten out of the 24 touts caught by the Land Public Transport Commission (Spad) during a recent raid at Pudu Sentral tested positive for drugs.

Its chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar said he was worried about the situation because most of the touts were young people.

"Some of them are drug addicts. They try to earn extra income to buy drugs.

"We must find a way to overcome this, so that these young people can be properly employed," he told reporters after a walkabout at Hentian Duta here yesterday.

Twelve of them will be charged under Section 205 of the Land Public Transport Act 2010. One of the detainees was an illegal immigrant while another was caught with drugs.

Syed Hamid also said that discussions were ongoing over the possibility of using the Integrated Transport Terminal Bandar Tasik Selatan (ITT BTS) as a hub for all north, east and south-bound bus routes.

He said it would be good to maximise the use of the terminal before thinking about building new ones.

He said Pudu Sentral was not meant for buses travelling long-distance and should be used for trips within the city instead.

"It (Pudu Sentral) is right in the city. It is quite a small space and there are not enough counters. BTS is still under capacity and has a lot of space," he said.

He also welcomed acting Trans­port Minister Datuk Seri Hisham­­­­­muddin Tun Hussein's statement on Mon­­­­day that his ministry would conduct a post-mortem of the traffic situation after the 15-day Ops Selamat campaign.

"Besides festive seasons, I think there should be continuous road safety campaigns on the electronic and print media." he said.

The commission, he said, had regulations in place and worked with the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research and Road Transport Department to enforce them.

On the balik kampung rush, he said people now planned their journeys better instead of leaving it to the last minute.

"God willing, up until Hari Raya, there will still be buses available," he added.