LAST_UPDATEThu, 24 May 2018 8am

LRT Project Not Expensive, Assures CM

KOTA SAMARAHAN: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has assured Sarawakians that the state’s Light Rail Transit (LRT) project will not be as expensive as claimed by the opposition parties.

Speaking at the launch of PBB Zone 2 meeting in Kota Samarahan Civic Centre here yesterday, he said it would not cost as much as the ones built at Peninsular Malaysia.

He said there are many ways to construct the LRT infrastructure and the state need not follow the model used in Peninsular Malaysia. He also said the state government had done its research before announcing and making the decision to start the project.

“Do they (the opposition parties) think that we (the state government) are stupid? We know what we are doing and I have been told that there are cheaper alternatives to construct the LRT infrastructure for the people of Sarawak,” he added.

Among the measures to lower the cost, he added, would be to power the trains by hydrogen instead of electricity.

He also said the LRT tracks need not be built above roads like in Peninsular Malaysia, which would cost a lot more than building them on the ground.

Whatever the details of the state’s LRT project, he added, would be revealed by March this year. He also said the state government had been studying locomotive models used overseas recently and was serious about implementing the LRT project.

“I want to be the Chief Minister who is remembered by the people of Sarawak for bringing LRT to the state. I know the state needs it and it is about time that we build it here,” he said.

Abang Johari might be responding to state Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman Chong Chieng Jen’s statement last week that the Chief Minister ought to tell Sarawakians more about the LRT system other than just telling Sarawakians that it would be operational in 10 years’ time.

Chong had also claimed that the Chief Minister was always avoiding to touch on the central issues about the proposed LRT, saying he (Abang Johari) ought to tell Sarawakians the estimated cost of implementing the project.

-The Borneo Post