No LRT for Sarawak for time being, CM confirms

Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg speaks in Miri April 25, 2018. — Bernama pic
Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg speaks in Miri April 25, 2018. — Bernama pic

KUCHING, Sept 1 — The proposed RM11 billion Light Rail Transit (LRT) linking Kuching with Samarahan and Serian divisions have been shelved for now, Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Abang Johari Openg announced today.

He said the Parti Gabungan Sarawak (GPS) state government is putting the LRT project on the backburner to focus on providing more basic amenities like piped water supply ad building roads into the rural areas.

“Our priority now is providing water and rural road projects,” he told reporters after chairing Parti Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu (PBB) supreme council meeting here.

The CM had disclosed the LRT project is off the cards during a closed door meeting with elected GPS representatives last Thursday.

A GPS assemblyman who attended the meeting told Malay Mail on condition of anonymity that the infrastructure focus shift is necessary to better prepare for the state polls due in 2021.

The assemblyman had said the chief minister emphasised that the state government was concentrating its efforts on transforming rural areas, where GPS draws most of its support.

“As such, the state government will be taking over the construction of rural projects, like roads, bridges, water and electricity supplies, which have been discontinued by the federal Rural Development Ministry under the PH federal government,” he had said, referring to the Pakatan Harapan coalition.

He had said it was for this reason that the chief minister decided to shelve the construction of the LRT, which was supposed to commence in the middle of next year, in favour of developing rural projects.

The assemblyman had said that the chief minister had wanted funds meant for the LRT project to be diverted to rural projects.