KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 27 – The government will improve logistics and transport infrastructure to ensure a more balanced economic spillover between urban and rural areas, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
He said the measures included construction of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project, the Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya mass rapid transit (MRT) project, and Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high speed rail (HSR) project.
“The government will also expedite the construction of the MRT3 or Circle Line to 2025, compared to the initial target of 2027. The LRT3 project which will connect Bandar Utama to Johan Setia, Klang is expected to be completed by February 2021.
“Good news for the people in Selangor and Perak, the West Coast Highway from Banting to Taiping is under construction at an estimated cost of RM5 bilion,” he said while tabling Budget 2018 at the Dewan Rakyat today.
Aside from that, he said, the government had set aside RM230 million for the Central Spine Road project next year to continue construction among others, of the road from Raub to Bentong, and Gua Musang, Kelantan to Kampung Relong, Pahang.
Meanwhile, Najib who is also Finance Minister said Pulau Pangkor in Perak would be declared a duty free island. However, the duty free status excludes products such as alcoholic beverages, tobacco and motor vehicles.
On public transport, the prime minister said RM3 billion had been set allocated to the Transportation Development Fund for procurement of vessels and development of aerospace technology industry and rail.
He said RM1 billion would go to the Public Transportation Fund for working capital and procurement of assets such as buses and taxis. “Following the many bus express accidents, RM45 million is allocated to develop a biometric control system to monitor the bus drivers,” he said.
Najib also announced that the government would upgrade Penang International Airport and Langkawi International Airport, build a new airport in Mukah and expand the airports in Kota Bharu and Sandakan.
“A study is being undertaken by the government on a new airport in Pulau Tioman, and to stimulate development in Labuan, the government will conduct a feasibility study for the construction of a bridge connecting Labuan with the mainland in Sabah,” he said. — Bernama