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Plans for systematic network in state

Abang Johari (seventh from left) being briefed on the newly-launched PPA1M project. — GERYL OGILVY / The Star

Abang Johari (seventh from left) being briefed on the newly-launched PPA1M project. — GERYL OGILVY / The Star

KUCHING: Sarawak plans to revamp the public transportation system in Kuching with efficient bus services to ensure better connectivity between townships.

Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said the state’s new financial model, which would be announced next month, would also cater for the revamp of the city’s public transportation system including building the LRT system.

“We are looking to establish a systematic network to connect all townships in Kuching, Serian and Kota Samarahan divisions, where commuting would take less than 30 minutes within each other.

“LRT is one possibility that we would consider in the long run. Public transport must be efficient and we must have an alternative.

“We need to create easy access for the people to travel within all the areas in these divisions, which includes Bau and Lundu,” Abang Johari told reporters after launching the 1Malaysia Civil Servants Homes (PPA1M) at Muara Tuang near here.

The chief minister also instructed the Local Government Ministry to work together with its Resource Planning and Environment counterpart to come up with a more systematic township planning that spread outside the city centre and lessen population density.

“We will focus on developing the suburban areas and public transport system will be linked among these townships so that city development planning is widespread and not congested in the urban areas.

“More importantly, commuting from these township to the city centre would also take less than 30 minutes,” he added.

He cited the importance for the government to start planning the growth of the state capital properly to ensure Kuching would be user friendly for the population as well as tourists and foreign visitors.

Touching on the PPA1M, Abang Johari said the Federal Government had approved the building of another 5,406 units across the state.

“We hope to have 15,000 units throughout the state to be implemented in stages.

“The most important factor is that these homes would be sold at 30% below the market price and within the affordability of our civil servants.

“The PPA1M is part of the Government’s objective to assist civil servants to own a quality home that is within their reach,” he added.

Abang Johari explained that civil servants at both Federal and state agencies, including local governments and government-linked companies, are eligible to apply for the scheme.

The civil servants housing project here is the second to be launched after Miri a fortnight ago. Abang Johari said similar projects would soon be built in Serian and Kota Samarahan.

The Muara Tuang PPA1M project, which has 246 town house units and 94 double-storey terrace houses, is currently at 18% completion and ahead of schedule.

Prices range from RM263,500 for an upper lot townhouse unit to RM345,000 for a corner lot terrace house. The project has attracted some 1,147 applicants. Application is open till April 30 at