Pending rep calls for more disclosure on ART project

Violet Yong

KUCHING, July 18: Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong is calling on the Sarawak government to disclose more details regarding the implementation of the Autonomous Rail Transit (ART) project.

The project which was announced in September 2019 and expected to be operational in 2022, was further postponed to 2025, as announced by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg at the beginning of this year.

“While opting for ART for our state’s public transport system may sound sophisticated, but up till to date, the Sarawak State Government has not made any frank disclosure about it.

“We have not seen any proposed master plan about the ART project being released by the state government. I believe many are asking for the plan but somehow up till now it is still unavailable,” she said in a statement today.

Yong stated that up until now details such as the location of the ART stations, the actual route of the ART lines and the amount of money to be spent in implementing this ART project are yet to be disclosed.

She also queried how much had been spent so far on the project, which company was being awarded the project, and how effectively the ART project would benefit the people of Sarawak.

“How much is the state government going to subsidise Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) yearly when the ART Project comes into full operation? What is the proposed fare for the public to use the ART service?” she asked.

Yong claimed that it was doubtful if the state government had carried out any thorough and in-depth study before making the announcement to replace the Light Rail Transit (LRT) project with ART.

She pointed out that it has become a well-known fact that the ART is a system that has never been proven successful in any country apart from being expensive and costly to maintain.

“So far, there is only one supplier for the ART system which is from China and hence resulting in high maintenance cost, just like the three hydrogen buses project which faces many technical issues, the Sarawak state government is adopting the China technology for the ART too,” she added. –DayakDaily.