LRT project put off, not scrapped, insists Abang Johari

Chief Minister Abang Johari Tun Openg. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: The planned Light Rail Transit (LRT) project for Kuching is no longer a top priority as far as Sarawak’s development agenda is concerned.

However, Chief Minister Abang Johari Tun Openg said today he would never drop the proposed LRT project.

The Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) president told Borneo Post he was clueless as to why a news portal had quoted an unnamed source as saying he would scrap the project.

Speaking after chairing the PBB Supreme Council meeting at the party’s headquarters, Abang Johari said the postponement paved the way for Sarawak to focus on rural development.

In an earlier report, Abang Johari said he was aware that many critics were convinced he was wrong in building the LRT for Kuching city.

“I will show you that I am right because I am thinking of the future of Kuching, and they are wrong because they think Kuching has no future,” he said.

Abang Johari said Kuching’s population had increased from 150,000 in 1960 to 315,000 in 1980, 510,000 in 2000 and 685,000 in 2017, adding that it would continue to grow.

He said in areas that are covered by the proposed LRT route, the current population is close to one million people.

Work on the LRT system, which will cover the state capital plus the Samarahan and Serian divisions, was earlier expected to start next year, to be operational by 2024.