Hornbill Unleashed

March 31, 2018

LRT project: DAP calls for greater accountability

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

The state Democratic Action Party (DAP) is calling for greater accountability on the economic feasibility of the proposed Light Rail Transit (LRT) project for Sarawak.

Its candidate for Stampin in the coming election, Dr Kelvin Yii, said the state government under the leadership of Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg should answer a few follow-up questions regarding the project.

“We are not against development in the state, but with every development, there must be greater accountability and transparency especially when it involves public funds,” he said in a press statement yesterday.

Dr Yii, who is special assistant to Bandar Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen, opined that the estimated ridership of 70,451 daily for the Kota Samarahan-Damai Line; 63,000 daily for the Serian-Senari Line; and 11,009 daily for City Dispersal Line ‘seems rather generous and over-projected’.

He said the state government must make public the findings of the study and how did it derive such numbers to prove the feasibility of such study and also to justify the undertaking of the mega project.

He also enquired whether the estimated cost of RM11 billion would include all other costs such as land acquisition and compensations.

The state government must also clarify whether there would be an open tender with regard to the construction of the LRT system, he added.

“What are the costs of maintenance and operations to sustain the whole project after the construction?” he questioned and at the same time, he also enquired about the interest rate that the state government would be paying, as the funding would be coming from Development Bank of Sarawak (DBoS).

Additionally, he asked whether there would be connecting bus routes to all these LRT stations to improve the connectivity further.

“Who will decide on the fares of the LRT? What is the concessions agreement? Will there be a rise in prices after certain years?

“While we support a proper development of our state, it must be feasible and pragmatic to the people, and that it would not bankrupt the state’s reserves and burden the future generations.

“Every cent has to be accounted for and spent for the benefit of the people, not just to fulfil a certain person’s wild promises and words,” stressed Dr Yii.

On Thursday, Abang Johari announced that the LRT lines connecting Kuching, Samarahan and Serian divisions should be operational by 2024.

He said the three lines would be expected to create a total of 20,919 jobs upon full operation.


Source : The Borneo Post Online by Lim How Pim,


 

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