Transport Ministry to establish bus routes between Kuching, West Kalimantan’s Sinkawang

Lee speaking at the DUN sitting on May 22, 2023. Photo is a screenshot from Sarawak Public Communication Unit's (Ukas) Facebook live stream.

KUCHING, May 22: The Ministry of Transport Sarawak (MOTS) aims to establish cross-border bus routes between Kuching and Sinkawang in West Kalimantan.

Its minister, Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin, said his ministry is working closely with the Indonesian Consulate General to set up the routes through Biawak-Aruk Immigration, Customs, Quarantine, and Security (ICQS) Centre.

“The decision is still pending the Ministry of Transport Malaysia’s further engagement with its Indonesian counterpart.

“At the same time, we are working closely with the relevant authorities to upgrade and improve facilities at the ICQS Biawak for this purpose,” Lee told the August House in his winding-up speech at Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting here today.

He disclosed that MOTS is also playing an active role in BIMP-EAGA (Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area’s) and Sosek Malindo (Socio-Economic Cooperation between Malaysia and Indonesia).

He said through close collaboration with their Indonesian counterparts, his ministry can work further on many transport-related initiatives on a win-win basis.

“Simultaneously, my ministry is working closely with the Consul General of Brunei Darussalam in Kuching to facilitate cross-border movement of people and goods.

“Among our focus areas is to create a smooth and seamless traffic movement at all ICQS between Sarawak and Brunei,” he added.

On the same note, Lee said with the relocation of Indonesia’s capital city to Nusantara in East Kalimantan, Sarawak needs to focus on enhancing land and air connectivity with Kalimantan to gain socio-economic benefits.

He said in line with the Sarawak government’s initiative to increase the number of tourists and visitors from Indonesia by land, MOTS has enhanced efforts to facilitate the express bus service between Kuching and Pontianak.

“The Kuching–Pontianak bus service has recorded an average of 3,650 passengers per month since it was resumed on September 2022,” he said. — DayakDaily