Wednesday, June 23

Kota Kinabalu needs monorail, not tram


KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government should build a new monorail transport system in Kota Kinabalu to alleviate the traffic jams, especially during rush-hours.

STAR Sabah chairman Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan made the call when responding to the statement of Industrial Development Minister Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah on considering the building of trams for Kota Kinabalu during the courtesy visit by the new counsel and vice-counsels from China recently.

Jeffrey said the government owes the people a social responsibility to address the social needs of the growing population, especially in Kota Kinabalu.

He said the Chief Minister last week said that the government would make all cities in Sabah “liveable” cities, so all growing cities need to solve the ever-present traffic congestion problems.

This is more so in the case of Sabah which is a world-renowned tourist destination with a growing and thriving tourism industry with yearly increasing tourist arrivals, he said in a statement yesterday.

“We should not be putting off foreign tourists from visiting Kota Kinabalu due to bad traffic jams.

“Building two or three more flyovers, although they are badly needed especially in Inanam and the intersections along Jalan Lintas in the city, may reduce traffic jams but they do not resolve the problem long term.

“What is needed for Kota Kinabalu is a good public transportation system!” he stressed .

According to Jeffrey, a monorail public transport system is a proven system. If not, there is no reason for the federal government to invest RM36 billion to build the Greater Klang Valley Monorail Transit System.

The Kota Kinabalu Monorail can link the Kota Kinabalu city centre to major centres in 1 Borneo, University Malaysia Sabah, KKIP, Karambunai Nexus and Sepanggar and back to Donggongon and Putatan and include stops at Likas Hospital, State Museum, Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the Kota Kinabalu International Airport.

The construction and building of the Kota Kinabalu Monorail will create a further boost to the local economy. This economic vibrancy will also generate new employment and business opportunities and at the same time transform Kota Kinabalu into a modern and progressive city.

Funding the Kota Kinabalu Monorail or KKMR should not be an issue.

If Putrajaya can finance RM36 billion for the Greater Klang Valley Monorail Transit, there is no reason for the federal government not to finance up to RM12 to RM15 billion to build the KKMR.

Sabah will be contributing an additional RM8.70 billion in oil and gas revenue to Petronas and the federal government in 2014 increasing from RM17.88 billion in 2012 to RM26.60 billion in 2014. It is expected that this oil and gas revenue will further increase to more than RM50 billion in 2015/2016.

Raymond, who is also a Deputy Chief Minister, had informed Kuching-based China’s new Consul General, Liu Quan and fellow consuls, Sun Xia and Chen Hao that the State Government is keen to introduce tram services as a solution to the perennial traffic congestion in the state, particularly in the state capital.

Liu proposed that the State Government works with China in realising such services as China’s transportation technology is advanced.