Transport Minister: RM4bil Rapid Transit System project in Johor to continue (The Star, June 1, 2018)Iskandar Malaysia
Transport Minister Anthony Loke says a number of mega projects as well as high-impact projects related to the transport industry will be continued, despite the country facing economic uncertainty.
This, he said, includes the Rapid Transit System (RTS) involving the Bukit Cagar, Johor to Woodlands, Singapore route, at a cost of RM4 billion, as it can help alleviate traffic congestion along the Johor Causeway.
“We will press on, but the construction mechanism has to be reviewed in order to speed up the process. There is an understanding between Prasarana Malaysia Bhd (Prasarana) with Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (SMRT).
“This Prasarana -SMRT strategic partnership agreement was supposed to have been signed on June 30, but we will ask for it to be postponed to provide room for related studies to take place,” he said.
He said the Gemas-Johor Bahru electric double-tracking rail project, spanning 197-kilometres and passing by 11 stations, which can spur economic growth along the route, will be continued.
The MyBAS bus service project in Ipoh, Seremban, and Kangar will also be continued, with an eye on expanding it even further based on requirements.
“While the next move was supposed to be to expand the project in Johor, we will need to discuss the matter with the state government before committing to realising the project.
“With Johor now under Pakatan Harapan post-GE14, I believe there is room for cooperation and we will seek the best approach to provide the MyBAS service,” he said.
On taxis and e-hailing, Loke said he has instructed the Land Public Transport Commission to submit a report on its suggestions to improve both industries.
The detailed report, he said, has to be completed in a month before it is presented to the Cabinet, followed by an announcement on the new policy, expected to be in July at the latest.
Commenting on SPAD’s operations, Loke said 372 enforcement officers from the commission’s 997 workforce will be absorbed into the Road Transport Department.
He said these comprise both permanent and contract staff, and not political appointees, hence the government will consider their roles and directions.
“For now, inn terms of operations, direction, licensing and studies, SPAD is operating as normal but this is subject to change as soon as we amend the related legislation.
“Whether SPAD will be placed as a department under the Transport Ministry, this will be refined further in the Cabinet meeting.
“The restructuring of operations and SPAD’s role in being merged with RTD will be finalised in the next two to three months,” he said.