‘Railless’ train system is the way forward, says CM


Abang Johari (second from right) opening the 11th International conference on IT in Asia. – ZULAZHAR SHBELEE/The Star

KUCHING: Sarawak may use a “railless” train system for its proposed light rail transit (LRT) project as it involves lower costs, says Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

The Chief Minister said new technology was now available whereby trains could run without rails.“It’s a road system with a track. A device that is placed at the driver’s seat will read the track and the train will follow it without rails.

“And I’m looking at that now because there is a reduction in cost. I think the technology is from Germany but now the user is China,” he said when opening the 11th international conference on IT in Asia here.

The two-day conference was organised by Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas).

It was reported in May that the LRT project, which was shelved to give way to rural development projects, would be revived with the first phase involving the Kuching-Samarahan route.

Abang Johari said the “railless” train was an example of how artificial intelligence (AI) could improve the way things were done.

“AI will be the key driver in our digital journey. Our next important initiative is talent development.

“We must train people to understand the technology and be able to create applications that will enhance our economic development,” he said.

This in turn would add value to Sarawak’s natural resources, including biodiversity and agriculture, he said.

“If we digitalise our strength in biodiversity through the application of biotechnology, it will give value to our resources,” the Chief Minister said.

He added that the combination of digitalisation and natural resources would create wealth for the state in future.

“Once you have new products, you can impose sales tax and that will become revenue for the state coffers.

“With experts giving their views, the business community will then assess the feasibility of new technology and they can form enterprises that will transform our economy.

“That is the way forward for Sarawak,” he said.

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