Stage Bus Services Transformation held back by delay in federal ISBSF funding

Lee (standing centre) visiting reporters at the State Legislative Assembly media room.

By Nancy Nais

KUCHING, Nov 11: Minister of Transport Datuk Lee Kim Shin hopes that the federal Transport Ministry will provide the allocation as requested by a consortium to implement bus services under the Stage Bus Services Transformation (SBST) in Kuching next year.

Kuching is one of five cities selected for the implementation of the Stage Bus Services Transformation (SBST). The state Ministry of Transport (MOTS) is working with Konsortium Bas Bandaraya Kuching Sdn Bhd to implement bus services under the SBST programme.

“The Sarawak Bus Transport Companies Association has signed an agreement on 16 October this year with the federal ministry for Interim Stage Bus Support Fund (ISBSF) to provide funds to support the operation of bus companies operating in the state.

“Until today, the association has not received any ISBSF for 2019 and this has adversely affected the operations. Therefore, we would like to request the federal ministry to expedite the disbursement of the said funds as soon as possible.”

Furthermore, Lee added, the state is carrying out a pilot project under the State Applied Research and Development Initiative on hydrogen gas.

For this purpose, MOTS is working closely on the operation of hydrogen fuel cell buses with Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) and on the hydrogen production plant and hydrogen refueling station with Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) in collaboration with Linde EOX Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Linde Group, Germany.

“The findings from this pilot project will help the state government to plan and decide how to move forward on hydrogen gas. To date, based on the data generated, the projects are progressing well. The contaminant issue encountered earlier has been successfully resolved,” Lee assured. — DayakDaily