Solving MH370 issue, road safety are main focus of Transport Minister

SEREMBAN, May 19 (Bernama) -- Negeri Sembilan DAP Chairman Anthony Loke Siew Fook is surprised on his appoinment as Transport Minister in Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's Cabinet.

Loke, who is Seremban Member of Parliament and also Chennah State Assemblyman, said the appointment was a big responsibility especially to solve the issue involving the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 and also on road safety.

"I would like to thank to the party leadership and also the Prime Minister for their trust in appointing me as the Minister of Transport (MOT). I know it is a big responsibility not only for land transport, not only the Road Transport Department (RTD) but also aviation, maritime, ports and so on but the ministry is very important to facilitate economic growth."

"I also have to look into many things... many issues (such as) road safety, competitiveness of our ports and of course a major issue for the ministry which is to continue searching for MH370. I hope during my tenure, we can reach a closure of the MH370 issue. This I think is very important not only for family members but also the aviation industry. I really hope that in the coming months or years, we can close this tragedy," he told reporters here, today.

The Prime Minister yesterday announced Loke, who is also the DAP national organising secretary, as the Minister of Transport.

The Boeing 777 with 239 people aboard vanished during its journey from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014. Efforts to find the aircraft have so far proved futile.

Commenting further, Loke said in order to fulfil the vision, he had already asked the Transport Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Saripuddin Kasim to give him a comprehensive briefing about MOT on Tuesday.

"I told the KSU that I want to go to the ground immediately, (because) there are many issues that we need to deal with and of course the major thing I want to see is that MOT must take the initiative to ensure road safety especially now is Muslim the month of Ramadan and soon, the time for the rush back to kampung will begin and every year we saw a lot of accident happening."

"This is one issue that we want to tackle...we want to reduce road accidents, ensure the roads are safe for everyone and road safety is my top agenda," he added.

With 10 years in Parliament, Loke said the experience helped him a lot to better understand the functions of the government.

"Of course I don't know everything but I am here to learn. As a new minister, I adopt an open mind (and) I will learn and of course I need the support from the civil servants," he said.