KUCHING, Sept 6 — The state government, with the support of the federal government, is embarking on the trans-Borneo railway study and development project as well as exploring the feasibility of a comprehensive railway network across Sarawak, Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg said today.
He said the state government is committed to identifying the feasibility of cross-border rail connectivity with neighbouring Brunei and Kalimantan, Indonesia.
“Our vision extends beyond the borders of Sarawak,” he said at the closing of the Sarawak Transport Conference held in conjunction with the 10th BIMP-EAGA (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines - East Asia Growth Area) transport cluster meeting here.
‘Within the framework of the BIMP-EAGA platform, we must realise the immense potential of cultivating deeper collaboration and harnessing synergies to collectively contribute to the sustainable development of our region,” the premier said.
Abang Johari said the region needs to have good connectivity with each other in order to grow trade, investment and tourist destinations for the people.
“When we can be seamlessly connected, our industries and markets can overlap to create new opportunities for trade, investment and economic growth.
“This integration allows for efficient movement of goods, capital and people, reducing trade barriers and increasing our region’s economic competitiveness.
“Strong transboundary connectivity also ensures tourists can easily explore our beautiful and diverse landscapes and experiences offered by each country in our region,” he stressed.
He said the forthcoming relocation of Indonesia’s capital city, from Java to East Kalimantan on the Borneo island, can further underscore the significance of transboundary connectivity.
“This presents an opportunity to invest in infrastructure that can benefit the Borneo and the entire region, further solidifying our commitment to growth and development,” Abang Johari said.
He said Borneo is poised to become one of the growth areas of the future, adding that it is imperative to establish strong transborder connectivity not only with the countries within the island but also integrate them into the global economy.
“The infrastructure investments made today will pave the way for a prosperous and sustainable future for generations to come,” he said.
The premier said the state is fully committed to playing its role in driving the growth of the region, saying that it is engaged in the supply of power through the Trans Borneo Power Grid to West Kalimantan, marking a historic milestone as the first ASEAN power grid interconnection outside the Asian mainland.
He added this endeavour is made possible through the close inter-regional cooperation in the spirit of BIMP-EAGA for the socioeconomic development of the region.
On exploring the feasibility study of a comprehensive railway network across Sarawak, the premier said it will serve the expansive geographical areas, connecting major districts, divisional centres and key economic zones.
He said this will facilitate the efficient movement of people and goods while simultaneously catalysing investment and trading activities.