Interior folk welcome Tenom railway upgrade
TENOM: Former Melalap state constituency candidate in the 13th General Election (GE13), Roger Stimin welcomed the Federal government's move to approve the allocation of a RM101 million project to upgrade the railway from Halogilat-Beaufort to Tenom.
“This is good news for the residents of Tenom, Kemabong and other districts in the interior as it will have a good impact on raising the arrival of domestic and foreign tourists to these districts,” he told reporters here Friday.
He said it was time for the government to realize their intention to upgrade the train services including the railway that they had promised to the people here in the recent election which had not yet materialised.
Roger was commenting on the statement of Deputy Chief Minister and Infrastructure Development Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan in newspapers recently that the Federal government had approved an allocation of RM101 million for the implementation of three projects related to the train service in the state comprising the purchase of three new Diesel Multi-Purpose Units (DMUs).
Roger learnt that a couple of weeks ago there was a shortage as the new train machinery had damaged its engines while traveling from Halogilat to Beaufort.
Apart from that, he said the train had also experienced some technical problems when slipping from the runway in the area between Rayoh and Pangi, and this would also stave off the government's efforts to promote the new train as the user's choice.
“If the government could modernize the public transport system in Kuala Lumpur with the spending of billions of Ringgit Malaysia (RM) for the Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) for public convenience, why can't it be done in Sabah?” Roger asked.
Meanwhile, the mentor of the Tenom Chinese Chamber of Commerce (TCCC) Kapitan Wong said residents in the interior also agreed that the huge allocation channeled by the Federal government to upgrade the service was long-awaited.
He said Pairin's announcement of this was quite a coincidence because although many had opted to use the road to Kota Kinabalu, the railway service would become the preferred choice after it was upgraded.
“The interior people have been longing to have a faster, better, punctual and consistent rail service transportation for the last three decades. Ever since the road was built between Tenom to Kota Kinabalu, I and my family have never travelled by train to KK.
“I really hope that the project can be realized soon and be carried out with proper supervision because this is the only railroad on the Borneo Island which not only plays a role in the tourism industry but can also benefit the locals.”
Wong said that railway is the cheapest means of transport and most convenient if it is well managed. He hopes in the near future that he and his friends could take the train as an alternative means of traveling after the completion of the upgrade work.