Sabah in the dark about Brunei company's high-speed rail network

KOTA KINABALU: The state government has yet to get any formal word or proposal from a Brunei company that announced plans for implementing the first high-speed rail network project in Borneo that includes Sabah.

Deputy Chief Minister III Datuk Shahelmey Yahya said that they only heard about the Brunei company plans in the news but as far as the state was concerned, there had been no official approaches made to the state government.

He said the only Trans Borneo rail project currently being looked at was by the federal Transport Ministry which plans to conduct a feasibility study this year on the possibility to link the Borneo region.

"We only know about the Trans Borneo rail concept that was informed by the Transport Ministry," he said when commenting on the Brunei company announcement via its website that the Trans Borneo Railway project to be implemented in two phases to cover Borneo Island.

"However, Shahelmey said the Sabah government had received several proposals from various interested parties, including from China and India, to put in place a railway network in the state.

"But, this is only in the early stages," said Shahelmey, who was state Works Minister.

Shahelmey said Sabah Railway Department was more focused on carrying out a feasibility study to re-establish the railway line to Sepanggar Port in Kota Kinabalu.

"We are now studying to see if we can re-establish the route from the state railways's main station in Tanjung Aru-Sembulan to Sepanggar Port.

"That is our priority though we are also generally looking at the idea of linking the state's west coast to the east coast with a railway link," he added.

Brunergy Utama Sdn Bhd, a Brunei based company, on its website announced that the high speed Trans Borneo Railway project would span 1,620kms and would be carried out in two phases.

According to the website, the first phase connects cities from the West to the East coast, beginning in Indonesia's Pontianak in West Kalimantan, and ending in Kota Kinabalu which is an economic focal area while in the north-south phase it would include rail links from Sarawak.

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