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KUCHING, May 10: Sarawak Patriots Association (SPA) supports the light rail transit (LRT) idea mooted by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg as an alternative form of public transportation.
SPA chairman Datuk Lau Pang Heng said the association had conducted a survey encompassing major cities in the state, such as Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri, over five days and found that 78.1 per cent of respondents supported the LRT idea.
SPA also found that 79.4 per cent of the respondents would take LRT as a means of transport.
“SPA is happy to note that the chief minister had announced yesterday that the first phase of the LRT shall be built, linking Kuching and Samarahan soon,” Lau said in a statement today.
However, details of the survey’s methodology were very sketchy. Lau merely stated that the respondents were chosen from a list of people who have Whatsapp service in their cell phones and that invitations were sent to 5,000 respondents.
“The response received was 4,900. The response rate was 98 per cent. It is above SPA’s expectations, for we have expected to have 3,500 responses (only),” he said.
Lau said the findings also revealed that among the respondents, 52.2 per cent travel daily by car, 2.7 per cent by motorcycle, and the others either travel by bus or other means of transport.
“SPA calls on Sarawakians to support the Sarawak government to build LRT so that the means of transport is at the citizens’ convenience. Though the initial investment may be high, nevertheless, LRT benefits the citizens in the long term.
“SPA felt that it will be good to link rural villages to the LRT line. This will enable rural villagers to ship their products for sale in the cities/towns. Perhaps, bus services provided by the LRT company may ease the cost of transport by rural villagers,” reckoned Lau.
He said LRT in key cities in Asia had helped to boost their economy and hoped it would do the same way for Sarawak’s economy. — DayakDaily