Sarawak’s rail system must be federally funded, says DAP

KUCHING:  A DAP legislator  wants the state government, which is considering a new rail system, to lobby the federal authorities for funding.

According to Bukit Assek assemblywoman Irene Chang,  it’s time that our state government flexes its muscles to demand what is due to our people.

She said  the federal government has to fund the development of any railway linking the towns of Sarawak because Putrajaya has not paid due oil royalties to the state over the past decades.

“Sarawak has already contributed so much to the development of the country as a whole, in terms of the oil and gas royalty,” she said in a statement.

She said it should be a federal project as provided for in the Federal List under the 9th Schedule of the Federal Constitution.

Earlier in March Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said  the LRT system is being studied for inclusion in the public transport plan now being drafted by the state government to solve traffic congestion in Kuching, Samarahan and  Serian divisions.

He said the proposed LRT system will provide easy access for locals and tourists to destinations within the three divisions especially places of interests within the southern tourism corridor which stretches to Tanjong Datu.

“If we can get a railway system linking Sibu to Kuching, Miri and Bintulu, it can provide the cheapest mode of transport in the region,” she added.

She said it can give healthy competition for air transport too because the air fares linking Sibu to other major towns are among the most expensive.