Costly MRT a gift from PM to rakyat: Salleh Keruak

KUALA LUMPUR: The multi-billion ringgit Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) project, despite its high construction cost, is a gift from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak to the rakyat.

Stating this, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak said the government had continued to pursue the mega project for the benefit of Malaysians.

He added the MRT Sungai Buloh – Kajang (SBK) line, built at a cost of RM21 billion, would be able to provide service to two million city dwellers.

“There are many benefits to the rakyat with the completion of the MRT. Among them is to save travelling time and cost. It could also reduce traffic jams.

“MRT reduces the entry of 160,000 vehicles in the city everyday. MRT can also curb air pollution as well as environmental pollution…,” he said in a blog post.

Najib on Monday officiated the opening of the 51 kilometres MRT SBK line, an event noted by many as the high point of the public transportation sector in Malaysia.

Salleh also summed up four points as a testimony of the government’s capabilities in bringing the nation forward with the construction of the MRT.

“First, the government always places the prosperity of the public as its main goal. Second, the government does not discriminate against states that are controlled by opposing parties.

“Third, the construction of the MRT is proof of the government’s excellence to prepare an efficient public transportation system to those in the capital. Fourth, we have a public transportation system that is on par with other developed nations,” he added.

Salleh said the 2016-2017 Global Competitiveness Index had also placed Malaysia in the 11th place among 138 countries for the development of transport infrastructure.

“The position of Malaysia is better than the other Asean countries such as Indonesia (36), Thailand (37), Vietnam (63), Philippines (90) and Laos (110),” he added.