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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

100-day report card: Transport expert gives Wee an ‘F’


Failure to resolve the KVDT2 project has led to increased safety risks and higher costs, says a consultant.

KUCHING: Wee Ka Siong’s first 100 days as transport minister have been anything but a success, says a transport consultant, highlighting the lack of progress on a stalled railway project.

Rosli Azad Khan, who has over 30 years’ experience, said the stalled Klang Valley Double Tracking Phase 2 (KVDT2) is the number one transport issue in the country.

The KVDT2 project involves the rehabilitation of 265km of railway tracks from Salak South in Kuala Lumpur to Seremban and from Simpang Port Klang near MidValley in Kuala Lumpur to Port Klang.

The project has been delayed twice since 2017, cancelled by the Pakatan Harapan government, reinstated, then cancelled again by the Perikatan Nasional government, leading to a suit by the contractor, Dhaya Maju-LTAT.

Rosli said the failure to resolve the issue has led to increased safety risks for railway workers and users as well as delays in commuter and cargo services resulting in losses for the economy and Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB).

Wee Ka Siong.

He said the inability of trains to travel at full capacity because of track conditions made commuter services unfeasible.

“People from Klang and Seremban and all the stops along these routes have to endure massive daily traffic jams on the roads to Kuala Lumpur, just to get to work.

“Not only do they have to spend more time on the road but the cost of travelling is more expensive. He has failed to look into their predicament by delaying the decision to simply resume KVDT2,” he said.

Rosli said Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob should take note of Wee’s performance as it had a direct impact on the people and the wider economy in terms of travelling costs and loss of productivity.

He said port congestion is another issue that Wee has failed to deal with, resulting in higher costs to logistics services.

“KVDT2 is ahead of the East Coast Rail Link in terms of priority. So, too, are road accidents and changes in policies for electric vehicles, an area we are so far behind compared to other Asean countries. HSR is also not a priority at the moment, and yet the transport ministry is treating it as if it is our No. 1 priority,” he said. - FMT

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