[Letter to the Editor] Efficient transportation system key for Sarawak to progress, prosper

File photo for illustration only. Photo credit: Pixabay

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Letter to the Editor

By Lating Minggang

The key to unlock the true potential for achieving economic prosperity and the realisation of the tourism market potentials throughout the State would be via infrastructure development that includes but not limited to a good transportation system networks, like roads, railway lines and waterways, that linked all the towns to one another.

These good transportation network systems could also become the catalyst for the State to transform herself towards achieving economic prosperity through a progressive and sustainable growth.

These are some of the enablers, that are required by the State, as an integral part of the tourism pulling factor, in consideration that the State does need to attract more international tourists, in order to help to bring in the foreign exchange, for the State.

Furthermore, this is also a part of the revenue engineering, since with the availability of the foreign exchange rate flowing in to the State, it can also helps to determine the economic health state, as well as, in some ways, to help in the upliftment of the socio-economic well-being of the population that resides in the State, in general.

By enriching the rural population we would also be able to help to narrow the prosperity gap between the rural and the urban.

When the rural assets like the vast land have been explored, tapped and cultivated to its full potentials for the purpose of economic optimization, the rural infrastructure must also needs to have a good transportation system networks as an integral part of the infrastructure development in order to facilitate the flow of the products, from the rural to the urban market.

Thus, the rural towns in Kapit Division must be developed too, the infrastructure development to be in parallel with one another such as with their urban counterparts, in order to achieve a shared prosperity, and a value maximization, with an equitable development growth between the rural and the urban, throughout the State.

Without the inclusivity of the rural areas in the infrastructure development growth, the aspiration of the State to become a fully developed State by 2030 would not be realized.

Therefore, the recent statement as highlighted in the local news, by the Minister of Transport Anthony Loke that, there was no plans yet by the Federal govt to build a railway to link Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Nusantara was disheartening to hear, as it might have brought a wrong signals to the Sarawakians.

The assumption might be, that the Federal have not thought of incorporating the options, to link an across border connectivity by railways, between the Borneo States with Brunei and Nusantara in its long term Master Plan.

It’s worth to note too, that Indonesia is in the process of building a new capital city in East Kalimantan, on the island of Borneo. This new capital city will be called Nusantara. Sarawak must capitalize on this new economic growth in East Kalimantan, thus, the railway lines could be, “a need and not a want” to complete the transportation system equations.

There is no doubt that, with the availability of the railway line networks, as the bridge, to facilitate the interconnectivity for the across border trades between the Borneo States and their neighbouring countries, this certainly, would be a “game-changer” that can become an added advantage, which has the potentials to provide value, as well as, an asset for the rural community, in the long run.

It wouldn’t be a surprise, one day, this railway mode of transportation will also become, one of the catalyst for growth for the community in the rural areas, in the facilitation, for the improvement of their livelihood and in the upliftment of their socio-economic well-being.

The railway transportation networks in Peninsular Malaysia are among the best in the region, thus, as a Sarawakian, we also would like to experience this sort of transportation being made available in the State. After all, great satisfaction comes from sharing with others. — DayakDaily

Lating Minggang is the Walikota for Kapit District Council.

This is the personal opinion of the author and does not necessarily represent the views of DayakDaily. Letters to the Editor may be lightly edited for clarity.