MRT a gift to rakyat, says Salleh

PETALING JAYA: 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, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak (pix).

He said the MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) line, built at a cost of RM21 billion, would service two million city dwellers.

"There are many benefits to the rakyat. Among them is the saving of travelling time and costs. It would also reduce traffic jams.

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

Najib today launched the 51km 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 testimony of the government's ability to bring 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 which are controlled by opposing parties.

"Third, the construction of the MRT is proof of the government's excellence to provide 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."

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

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