Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Putrajaya, not state, will decide on Penang LRT, says Loke



Putrajaya, not state, will

decide on Penang LRT,

says Loke

Predeep Nambiar-

The transport minister says exco has ‘no locus standi’ to make calls on a federal government project.

Total Views: 2,436
Transport minister Loke Siew Fook says Putrajaya will make all decisions on Penang’s LRT system, including its specifications, after exco member Zairil Khir Johari said the state government and MRT Corp are mulling a ‘low-to-medium’ capacity system.

GEORGE TOWN: All decisions on the Penang LRT, including its specifications, will be decided upon by the federal government as the project owner, transport minister Loke Siew Fook said.

“The Penang exco, with due respect, has no locus standi to announce the specifications of the project,” he told reporters here, in response to state infrastructure transport and digital committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari saying the state government and MRT Corp were exploring a “low-to-medium” capacity LRT system.

The system has been the subject of much debate in recent months, with a transport analyst and civil society groups claiming that an LRT is not feasible in Penang.

Separately, Loke said Malaysia is due to become Asean chair next year and will focus on reviving the Asean Rail Link to plug gaps in the network.

He said domestic railways within member states are present but there is a need to facilitate quicker immigration and customs clearances at border checkpoints to allow unfettered passenger and goods flow between member countries.

He said the railway was conceptualised some two decades ago, as part of the Kunming-Singapore Pan-Asian Railway.

Loke also said he was prepared to brief former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad on the Johor Bahru-Singapore rapid transit system (RTS Link).

Yesterday, Mahathir had raised concerns about the project spanning the Johor Strait, which he claimed would not allow ships to pass underneath.

In a post on X, he repeated his 2003 call for a bridge to replace the Causeway, which would facilitate the movement of seaborne traffic along the entire length of the strait.

Separately, Loke said there are no plans to subsidise diesel for tour buses, because they are largely used by foreign tourists.

He also reiterated that other bus and van companies will receive their subsidies in lieu of the floated diesel price. He said no company can raise prices without notifying the Land Public Transport Agency.

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