PUTRAJAYA: The government will conduct a feasibility study in 2024 for a pan-Borneo railway system, says Anthony Loke.
The Transport Minister said this would ensure seamless development in the entire country and not just the peninsula, adding that various groups had called for Sabah and Sarawak to have its own rail system.
"We want to see if a rail system can be done in Sabah and Sarawak. We need to consider the economic factor, whether there will be a return of profit.
"We also need to determine if there is a need for it and its usage. Is it for connectivity or for cargo?
"After that, we need to look into the geographical factors to see if construction is possible and the estimated cost," he said during a press conference here on Monday (Nov 6).
Loke said the government is also looking at discussions with Indonesia and Brunei to connect the entire Borneo region with a railway system.
He said this is especially important as Indonesia is moving its capital to Kalimantan.
"This is also the aspiration of the Sarawak government which is looking at connectivity to Indonesia, particularly Kalimantan, to fully utilise the advantage of the new Indonesian capital," he said.
Loke, who is also Seremban MP, said the feasibility study on the pan-Borneo railway system is expected to be completed within 12 months.
"We are waiting for the budget in December to get the allocation and after that, we will open the tender for the study," he added.
Earlier in May, Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg said the state government had submitted a proposal for the construction of a railway across the island of Borneo to the Transport Ministry.
Abang Johari said the project, if successfully implemented, would open up economic opportunities along the route.