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Build Monorail Not Tram – Dr. Jeffrey

Kota Kinabalu: "The Sabah government should build a new Monorail transport system in Kota Kinabalu and not just sweet-talk the people with promises of building public transport systems to alleviate the growing and snarling traffic jams especially during rush-hours but with no concrete action being taken” said Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, STAR Sabah Chief in response to the Minister of Industrial Development’s statement of considering the building of trams for Kota Kinabalu during the courtesy visit by the new Counsel and Vice-Counsels from China recently.

The Umno/BN government owes the people a social responsibility as the government of the day and as part of this responsibility, they need to address the social needs of the growing population especially in Kota Kinabalu.

This responsibility is not better said than by the Chief Minister himself who last week said that the government will make all cities in Sabah “liveable” cities.   And all growing cities need to solve the ever-present traffic congestion problems.   

However, the Chief Minister and his government need to put words into action to make Kota Kinabalu a “more liveable” city.

This is more so in the case of Sabah which is a world-renown tourist destination with a growing and thriving tourism industry with yearly increasing tourist arrivals.    We should not be putting off foreign tourists from visiting Kota Kinabalu again due to bad traffic jams.

Building 2 or 3 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!” stressed Dr. 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, 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.

If the federal government refuses to fund the KKMR, the Sabah MPs just need to take a simple step to leave the Umno/BN coalition.   By just leaving, the Umno/BN and the Pakatan Rakyat leaders will be sending a VVIP delegation with a RM15 billion cheque to fund the KKMR to persuade the Sabah MPs to join in a new federal government.   That is the power of Sabah and Sarawak and the leaders from Sabah should leverage on this for the benefit of our beloved Sabah Tanah Airku and not just allow our oil and gas to be siphoned anymore.

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