Hajiji: Trans Borneo Railway Project will be boon to region

KOTA KINABALU: A proposed Trans Borneo Railway Project linking Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Indonesia’s Kalimantan will bring an overall economic boom to the Borneo region, says Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.

The proposed project would open up connectivity among the people in the world’s third largest island, said the Sabah leader.

“Once materialised, the project will have an impact of enhancing people-to-people connectivity and economically, it will facilitate trade, promote the growth of industries at border areas, and boost tourism in the Borneo region,” he said in a statement yesterday.

In November, federal Works Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi said his ministry had received a preliminary proposal on the Trans Borneo Railway Project.

Nanta said the idea for the mega-railway linking Sarawak and Sabah, and eventually Kalimantan, came from the Transport Ministry, adding that the Federal Government had approved a financial allocation.

The allocation was specifically to carry out a feasibility study on the Trans Borneo Railway routes involving the Sarawak-Sabah side.

However, Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said it had not been officially informed of a proposal made by a Brunei-based company to start a high-speed rail network that would pass several destinations in the state.

“It’s probably a private sector proposal that doesn’t involve the government because if we were to build the Kalimantan-Borneo railway, there must be agreement between Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei,” he said.

He said the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) was still in the midst of conducting feasible studies.

Brunei-based Brunergy Utama Sdn Bhd had earlier this week announced that it would be embarking on the Trans Borneo Railway Project, proposing that this be implemented in two phases involving routes spanning 1,620km.

The first phase will connect cities from the Borneo’s west to the east coast, beginning in Pontianak, West Kalimantan, and ending in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

The second phase will involve North and East Kalimantan connecting the main route with Samarinda in Kalimantan and to the new Indonesian capital of Nusantara.

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Trans Borneo Railway


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