One of the reason why housing is so expensive in urban area is because of the shitty public transportation that we have. The nightmare of having to commute to work everyday for at least 3 hours on the road will put off a lot of people. Therefore they are maximising the land use around the urban and suburban area with high-density apartments and flats. No matter how many blocks of apartment or condominium you build, there’ll always be demand and got snapped up in a relatively short time… most of the time by investors who wanna flip and make money.
If the public transport is good, there’ll be less traffic jam and I can opt to stay further out of KL i.e. Shah Alam, Klang, Rawang, Putrajaya, Cyberjaya etc. because I can travel to work with the daily traffic nightmare.
Everyone wants to stay around town so that they can cut short travel time (with traffic jam included) and this demand has drove up the house prices in urban areas. So, at the end of the day, it comes back to public transportation.
But if public transport is improved, car sales will drop for all carmakers in Malaysia and this MAY cause Proton to go bankrupt when other carmakers slash prices to boost sales . National pride will be affected there. Then consumption of fuel will also drop…. less profit for Petronas. Again, national pride will be affected. Then there will be no more reason to build highways anymore. As you can see, highways doesn’t solve the traffic jam problem. It only make it a lil bit more convenient to travel. WE NEED TO TAKE THE CARS OFF THE ROAD. THE SAME AMOUNT OF CARS OR MORE WILL NOT SOLVE THE PROBLEM.
I think it’s all inter-related. The taxes and profits (direct or indirect) and perhaps some carrots they get from transportation related industries i.e. vehicle taxes, AP, oil, rubber etc makes it better off than implementing good public transports.