KUALA LUMPUR: The Finance Ministry should provide more allocations for the My50 and My100 unlimited monthly travel passes in Budget 2020, given the success in the Klang Valley and Penang, said Transport Minister Anthony Loke.
With more allocations, the popular unlimited monthly travel passes launched last year could be introduced to other locations, said Loke at a press conference at the World Maritime Day here yesterday.
Loke also said he was requesting funds from the Finance Ministry to carry out the construction of several branch (or spur) lines connected to the main railway lines.
Loke said the issue efficiency issue with KTM Bhd’s (KTMB) network was that freight trains shared the same lines as passenger trains
“This is ineffective. In the morning, they (freight) cannot move since the priority is for passenger (trains).
“A spur line will reduce the distance and time from the north (of the peninsula) to Port Klang.
“This is among the projects seen by the Finance Ministry, and it will be implemented shortly, ” he said, commenting on his wish list under Budget 2020, which will be tabled in Parliament on Oct 11.
Loke also said there was no need to review the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project, despite calls by PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to do so after a witness testimony in the ongoing 1MDB trial, where he said the project was mooted by the last government to bail out 1MDB.
“We reviewed ECRL. The costs were cut down and the commitment (by the government) is there.
“The approach now is to maximise it to benefit all states involved.”
On April 12, Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd and China Communications Constructions Company Ltd signed a Supplementary Agreement, which resumed the project after it was suspended by the Pakatan Harapan government last year.
Under the new agreement, construction of Phases 1 and 2 will resume at a cost of RM44bil, a reduction of RM21.5bil from the original projection of RM65.5bil.
The new alignment of the ECRL covers 648km over Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Selangor, Negri Sembilan and Putrajaya, compared with only four states prior.
Meanwhile, Loke said the government was currently reviewing
regulations pertaining to bunkering services to make ship refuelling in Malaysia attractive.
He said Malaysia lost potential business to Singapore over the years for having too many regulations and processes that stood in the way of potential industry players.
Loke said the government wanted to develop the bunkering sector as it was an industry with great growth potential, given Malaysia’s position in the Melaka Strait.
“All ships passing through the strait need to refuel but most of the time it is happening in Singapore.
“We need to develop a whole ecosystem in terms of supplies, regulations and enforcement and inspire confidence that bunkering in Malaysia is safe and transparent.”