KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia Transport Minister Anthony Loke said the implementation of the Mass Rapid Transit Line 3 (MRT3) is postponed and not scrapped to reduce the burden of government debt.
He said the Cabinet would determine when the MRT3 construction would resume but stressed that major projects such as the MRT3 would be given priority if the country’s financial position was recovering.
Any such big decision needs to get the Cabinet’s approval.
But at present the government priority is to reduce the rate of national debt first but for crucial projects like MRT3, when the countty’s financial status recovers, it will certainly be given priority to be reviewed, he told the Dewan Rakyat (Lower House) sitting yesterday.
He was replying to a question from Khairy Jamaluddin (BN-Rembau), who asked the ministry to state the rationale and implication of the scrapping of public transport projects such as the MRT3.
Loke said the government did not deny that the MRT3 project would bring various benefits, but its implementation should be reviewed for optimum results in terms of the project’s cost-benefit in view of the excessively high national debts at present.
He said based on the Progress Report prepared by MRT Corp in early 2017, the MRT3 project line is 40 km long and a circle line that passes through areas such as Jalan Duta, Setiawangsa, Pandan Indah, Salak Selatan, Bandar Malaysia and Kerinchi.
As the MRT3 line passes through urban centres with high density, almost 80 per cent of the MRT3 line is underground, which contributes to the costly construction cost that is expected to reach RM50 billion, he said.
He said to encourage the public to use public transport, thus helping to reduce road congestion, the government will give priority to various types of buses that will be upgraded in terms of service quality and network as well as improving the KTM Komuter system in the Klang Valley via upgrading and repairing works on the railway structure.
The postponement of the MRT3 project gives us the opportunity to review our budget priority, in which the government will give new focus on improving bus services and infrastructure development not only in the Klang valley but throughout Malaysia in line with the government’s manifesto to improve the quality and coverage of public transport service, he added.
Source: NAM News Network