KUALA LUMPUR: The government is looking into the feasibility of enhancing rail and air transport links from Sabah and Sarawak to Kalimantan, in view of Indonesia building its new capital in the province, the Senate was told.
Deputy transport minister Hasbi Habibollah said the economy ministry is currently considering enhancing the logistics network to Indonesia’s new capital, which is included in the 12th Malaysia Plan.
“A feasibility study will be conducted to ensure that railway development in Sabah and Sarawak is good value for money and has a positive social and economic impact.
“The study will also involve economic development strategies for residents living along the route as well as economic accelerator projects that will have a broader impact,” he said when winding up the debate on the 12MP mid-term review for the ministry in Dewan Negara, today.
Hasbi said the transport ministry is confident that Indonesia’s move of its capital from Jakarta to Nusantara in east Kalimantan will have a positive impact on the logistics network in Sabah and Sarawak.
He added that the ministry encourages airlines to provide direct international services, and it will consider bilateral negotiations with foreign countries to establish or enhance air traffic rights.
Hasbi said other measures that should be emphasised is to liberalise certain cities in Sabah and Sarawak according to the Asean multilateral agreement on the full liberalisation of passenger services.
“Airlines in Asean countries are allowed to operate flights to any Asean destination, without restrictions on frequency, capacity and aircraft type,” he said.
The government will also offer the Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd airlines incentive programme to foreign airlines operating at any airport in the country, including major cities in Sabah and Sarawak, he added.
New direct flight
Separately, Malaysia Airlines announced today it will introduce a new direct flight from Kuala Lumpur to Kertajati, West Java, from Oct 30.
The airline said it would now have direct flights to seven cities in Indonesia, including Jakarta, Denpasar, Medan, Yogyakarta, Pekanbaru and Surabaya.
Malaysia Aviation Group CEO Ahmad Luqman Azmi said the Indonesian routes had an average load factor of 80%.