Cabinet document drafted to pave the way for a central Sabah public transport agency

KOTA KINABALU: A cabinet document proposing the creation of a central agency to synchronize Sabah‘s public transport management is in the final drafting stage, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin says (Photo).

The state public works minister said a study done on public transport here a few years ago found a weakness where around 15 government agencies in Sabah had overlapping powers and functions in this sector.

Central agency training was one of 17 recommendations from the study.

“The overlapping jurisdictions have caused confusion and until today they could not be coordinated, so I directed the permanent secretary of the ministry to prepare a Cabinet document to form an agency to synchronize them, that I will submit to the State Cabinet for approval.

“That way we can also see what laws are needed to allow this.

“If this materializes, we can plan more government initiatives to improve public transport in Kota Kinabalu, so that it is on par with transport systems in other states,” he said in his statement. adjournment speech to close the Sabah State Assembly sitting on Wednesday (July 20).

He was responding to Luyang Phoong MP Jin Zhe who pointed to the public transport network in the state capital which is considered unsustainable and still far behind others.

Phoong had stressed the need to form a committee involving relevant agencies to resolve issues in the state’s public transportation structure.

He claimed that one of the reasons why Kota Kinabalu ranked second in the nation’s lowest happiness index was the failure to provide a people-centric public transportation system.

He said the lack of a good and reliable public transport service has pushed people to resort to loans to buy cars, creating a burden on low-income groups.

Phoong also said plans for greater Kota Kinabalu, such as Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and new bus terminals, which were to be completed in 2020, had not been implemented.

“While I applaud the efforts of the state government to launch electric buses in Kota Kinabalu recently, without the restructuring of bus management, it would not be successful,” he added.

Meanwhile, Bung Moktar said two of the 17 recommendations have been approved under Malaysia’s 12th plan with an allocation of RM1.5 million, and these are expected to be implemented next year.

The two suggestions were to combine the bus operators here into one or more smaller groups, as well as to do a demand analysis.

“Demand analysis involves the latest data collection techniques to analyze and understand the movement of people and the demand for public transport,” he added.

The session of the national assembly will resume on Thursday (July 21).

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