Malaysia focussed on improving rail network

KUALA LUMPUR (CNA) – The Malaysian government is focussed on improving rail network and services in the country to encourage more people to use the trains and improve freight transportation, said Deputy Transport Minister Kamarudin Jaffar yesterday.

The railway service in Malaysia is underutilised, he said.

The government has always given priority to improving public transport, with several large-scale public transport projects under construction, he said.

He expressed hope that more citizens will use the rail network for their commutes, especially when major projects are completed. These include the Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya MRT and the LRT3 projects, which will boost economic growth and increase the use of public transport in the Klang Valley. Kamarudin urged the private sector to pitch in.

“Although a strong public transport system is the catalyst for growth, the key always lies in the business community,” he said in his keynote address at the 2020 Malaysia Economic and Strategic Outlook Forum in Kuala Lumpur.

“As many of you here are in the private sector, I would like to strongly urge you to give serious consideration to spreading your business operations to other states and cities and help create new jobs for the people.”

To ensure connectivity in urban areas, the government has also improved public transport coverage including introducing three new routes last year for GoKL’s free bus service.

The government also needs to ensure equality and balance in the transport industry, particularly between various public transport service operators, he said.

Initiatives taken by the government include improvements in ensuring a level playing field in the taxi and e-hailing industry, such as opening up vehicle and model choices for taxi use.

An artist’s impression of Malaysia’s light rail transit (LRT). PHOTO: CNA