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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 10 — Anthony Loke hopes to get sufficient funds for next year’s budget, to be tabled next month, to develop two key transport areas.
The transport minister listed improving public transportation and developing the local logistics industry as crucial and highlighted rail lines.
He said programmes recently introduced, such as the My100 and My50 unlimited passes now available in the capital and Penang, have received positive response from the public and could be further enhanced and improved with the added funding.
“We are looking to expand this initiative to other regions and that is why we require funding from the finance ministry and hope it receives further backing from the finance ministry,” he said after launching the World Maritime Week 2019 National Celebrations at the KL Convention Centre here today.
Loke also said he hopes to get the support of the finance ministry to build more rail lines, not only for human commute but also for the transport of goods.
“To ensure the logistics sector can expand, we have to connect existing railway tracks to our ports and industrial areas directly, so we hope to be allocated a budget that will allow us to launch several spur railway line projects along our existing railway tracks,” he said.
Among the routes that could benefit from this added spur line, he said, includes the Serendah to Port Klang route, with the current railway arrangement requiring the cargo trains to pass through the KL Sentral hub.
“The cargo trains coming from the north and heading to Port Klang are currently sharing the railway tracks with the commercial lines which gives priority to passengers.
“This is not effective as they are unable to pass through in the mornings,” he explained.
“With the existence of an added spur railway line or one specifically for the Serendah-Port Klang route, this can reduce the distance and time needed to get to the port, and is a project we are looking at implementing,” he said.
Meanwhile, concerning AirAsia group chief executive Tan Sri Tony Fernandes who claimed the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) had failed the country’s aviation sector, Loke said it was purely the opinion of the airline tycoon.
“It is okay, that is the view of AirAsia, I have nothing to comment,” he said in his brief reply.
This was after Fernandes chided the commission through a post on his LinkedIn account that listed the shortcomings of the commission.
Among them, Fernandes said, was Mavcom’s failure to understand the low-cost aviation model, going on to claim their functions are duplicative and could be assumed by other existing aviation authorities.