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KUCHING, July 7: Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Chong Chieng Jen today gave Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg the thumbs-up for deciding to review the proposed Light Rail Transit (LRT) project.
Chong said the decision to implement the routes based on demand showed the state government’s accountability under the Pakatan Harapan (PH)-led federal government, even though the project would be wholly funded by the state.
“That is one of the immediate benefits we get under the PH government. If there wasn’t any review, the project would have incurred more spending than needed from the state’s coffers, which is Sarawakians’ money,” opined Chong, who is also state Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman.
Chong was responding to Abang Johari’s statement on this matter at the Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers Association (Sheda) Property Expo 2018 at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) yesterday.
The chief minister revealed that the state government would revise its LRT plan, where it would start with only one route and then gauge the effect and gather public feedback before deciding whether to add more routes.
“If it works and the public needs it in other areas, then we will build by stages. This is not because of pressure from the opposition but we will implement according to demand,” he said.
He said among the areas that might get the head start for the revised LRT route would be Kuching-Kota Samarahan and Kota Sentosa, which have been experiencing massive traffic congestion regularly.
Chong said with the review, there would be a huge savings for the state’s coffers, and critical areas like Batu Kawa might be included in the initial LRT plan. — DayakDaily