Hello again folks. First of all, there are few alternatives to name the proposed railway services entity in Sarawak by J*bu like Keretapi Tanah J*bu but it’s better to steer away from Peninsular-based railway company KTM that offer both ancient and sluggish train services. Perhaps one of the worst example of BN’s model of corrupted monopoly. Right. This is not the first time J*bu came out with his outrageously ridiculous transportation plan for Sarawak like proposing LRT service (first mooted by now ex-YB Alfred Yap) and that tricycle subsidy for rural transports in villages and longhouses.

“For the future of land transportation system in the land of Borneo, I think it is good to have initial planning. As you know, our Trans-Borneo road is more or less completed, but the railway system can facilitate the movement of goods between the states, and eventually will be linked to the southern part of Borneo.” – J*bu

Ridiculously good planning indeed by J*bu. Ha-ha. It’s much better if whole lots of equally ridiculous solutions on how to implement this railway project in much more effective, efficient and socially-responsible manner. Ridiculous plan with ridiculous action needed.  As for the previously proposed LRT service in Kuching, it require the same madness level in terms of cost and operation and the cronies ready to suck on concession ploy. The problem with LRTis that the service mainly for commuting people, not bulks of goods container. With the Kuching population already decentralisation from Siburan to Matang, LRTconstruction cost would not worthit unless the cronies willing to part with 150 years concession period. At the moment, the bus transport system should be upgraded and utilised by the 500k odd Kuching folks so for the Kuching population to top 1.5million then LRT would be ideal and cost effective to run. And that is another 25-30 years of nightshift overtime hardworks to produce 1.5million urban folks, mind you.

So we leave the LRT and reproduction challenge aside, now we look into Sarawak main railway system. While we shouldn’t look into J*bu’s proposal with a pinch of salt, the spin-off from SCORE projects could be an interesting view. We will look into the railway construction, the labour requirement and the the possible saviour role of Buah Kepayang as part and parcel of how successful the railway system gonna be.

Firstly the railway construction material itself such the steel grids, wooden planks and the rocks which can be sourced locally except the steel grids from elsewhere probably from China or India. The wooden planks at the moment should be allowed to be sourced from local rainforest while rocks foundry for the railway should be sourced from the newly-minted Bengoh quarries that would take more than 100 years to crack out the whole Bengoh mountain range. Probably that’s why J*bu is really confident on this railway project since all those raw materials are within Yang Dikasihi’s cronies control and supply and that’s what friend or crony for.

The next tricky part is the labour requirement. It’s tricky because the fear of foreign workers’ presence in large number which spark the fear of new generation of lost Dayaks and the possibility of using the mykad scam to register them as BN voters. Specifically for this railway project, instead of creating big number of Saudara Baru among the Dayak (from the stray-unions from these muslim foreign workers), those Christian foreign workers such as the Dayak Indon would be recruited. The least we can expect from these social union byproduct is Saudara Dayak. Well not to imply the sudden emergence of whole 3 million Borneo Dayaks, but the complication of being murtad after marriage dissolutions from the Muslim Indon SCORE workers can be minimised. Recruiting Dayak Kalimantanis a better alternative which is almost similar religion and tradition with local Dayaks here. So it’s your choice then, Saudara Baru or Saudara Dayak. Labour inputs afterall must be solved in order to make this railway a reality.


Above: That’s what happen if railway in Sarawak gone awry but then, unlike the American native Red Indians, it’s highly unlikely for the Dayaks to rob a train (for once it may existed or soon maybe) for the fact that the Dayaks never been an avid horse riders.

Next is the train requirements. Since J*bu didn’t mention what type of locomotive shall be used, we can only speculate and propose. If using the old convention of coal-powered trains since coal deposits in Mukah is aplenty, it then not economically profitable as Yang Dikasihi will definately insist on export sales. The electric train would be another cost bomb as it will require another power gridlines even though the supply of cheap electricity from the many dams available later. That would leave us the diesel-powered trains but the cost of diesels would be huge and probably not economically proportionate to the value of goods transported. So, the final trick is biodiesel. Ya ya, it’s the mixture of Buah Kepayangextract mix with diesel, just like the ethanol80 fuel sold in Brazil. It’s just perfect for J*bu to finally elevate the real value of Buah Kepayang as the ultimate golden fruit. Remember when J*bu proposed the use of palm oil biodiesel in government transports such as army trucks etc? That’s a phony scale compare to this Buah Kepayang biodiesel. Buah Kepayang is indegeneous to the Dayak particularly to Betong area where J*bu famously promote it as commercial large-scale crop but as we know it’s all just another agricultural spoof. With this railway project, Buah Kepayang will redefine train system as equally niche mode of transport, efficient and clean transportation system in tandem with SCORE objective which is all about ‘renewal energy’ and Buah Kepayang is renewal. Probably the majestic, luxury train coach Orient Express could be introduced here, with a bit of Buah Kepayang avant-garde touch of course.

The Dyaks Blog Final Donkeys:

That’s why the proposed Sarawak railway system ought to be named as Keretapi Buah Kepayang. A great legacy from J*bu, outrageously ridiculous vision with outrageously ridiculous implementation as well.


The following are news related to the grand delusion of Sarawak’s future transportation system plans:

Sarawak’s railway dream
By Samuel Aubrey Thursday, August 6th, 2009, Borneo Post

KL said to have responded positively, at least in SCORE area

KUCHING: A railway system for Sarawak now looks set to be realised within the next 15 to 20 years. Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu, who is also Minister of Infrastructure Development and Communication, yesterday held a discussion with Deputy Minister of Transport Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri on the possibility of building the railway system.

Speaking to reporters later, Jabu said the federal government, represented by Rahim, had responded positively to the idea. He also said the railway system is now at planning stage, and could be included in the proposal of projects from Sarawak in the 10th Malaysia Plan or 11th Malaysia Plan. “The first priority for the railway system, as mentioned by Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, will be in the areas under SCORE (Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy). “The locations have yet to be identified, but because of the intensification of activities within SCORE area, priority will be on the transportation of goods and bulk cargo from the industries to the other areas,” he said.

Jabu said the railway system may also link the ports of Bintulu, Similajau and Tanjung Manis, all of which will be the entry and exit points for materials and products either going in or out of industries in SCORE. He also did not dismiss the possibility of the railway system to be the next public transportation for Sarawak, although he was quick to stress that the main priority would still be on transportation of goods and cargo. Rahim, a Sabahan, welcomed the plan by Sarawak to have its own railway system. He said he hoped to see the two East Malaysian states to be eventually linked by railway in the near future in line with the 1Malaysia concept.

He said the linking act would be a logical move because Sabah already has its own railway system that now runs for about 200km. “In respect of railway transport, I think this is the area which Sabah and Sarawak can look at. Because in many developed countries, railway transport system is always the backbone of the main transportation system, whether it is in Europe, China, India, America or Australia. “For the future of land transportation system in the land of Borneo, I think it is good to have initial planning. As you know, our Trans-Borneo road is more or less completed, but the railway system can facilitate the movement of goods between the states, and eventually will be linked to the southern part of Borneo.

“It is good to have this sort of beginning. Maybe in the next 15 to 20 years there will be a lot of development towards this effect,” he said. Foreseeing a railway system connecting Sabah and Sarawak within the next 100 years, he said rail services were proven to be a cheaper mode of transport, more efficient and environmentally friendly. Relating the Sabah experience, he said the Sabah State Railway, a state-owned agency, recently received RM400 million from the federal government to upgrade its services. The railway in Sabah runs through Kota Kinabalu, Beaufort and Tenom. To another question, he said it would be up to Sarawak to decide if its railway system would be funded by the federal or the state governments. He added that it would also take a lot of political will to get the idea realised within the soonest time possible.
SMS to catch a bus
By Ting Tieng Hee, Sunday, January 11th, 2009, Borneo Post

Under the City Area Transit (CAT) System, geographic positioning systems (GPS) will be used for easy location of buses along different routes in the city. Free SMS services will be sought from telcos to let commuters know where and when the buses are coming.

IMAGINE you are somewhere in the Kuching city and are able to locate the position of the bus coming your way by using a short message system (SMS) or handphone website. This is no mere imagination as a revolutionised bus transport system is set to crystalisea year or two thence, especially with the completion of the Kuching Sentral bus terminal, currently under construction at Mile 6 1/2, Jalan Penrissen. “When you know the schedule, you can opt to take the bus at the time you wish and the service is such that there is a bus coming along every 15 minutes,” said William Chan, administrative director of a consortium of the existing bus companies in Kuching. The Sarawak Transport Company (STC) Bhd is one of them and Chan is its managing director. According to him, the system will change public perception of commuting by bus as it will not only be more convenient but also faster, more efficient and effective. Under the City Area Transit (CAT) System, geographic positioning systems (GPS), will be installed in new modern buses to enable their easy location along different routes in the city.

“We will work with telecommunication companies to provide free SMS services to the public. You just send us an SMS and we tell you where and when the bus is coming,” Chan assured. The public could also use the website in their handphones to locate the buses and schedule their trips, he said. Chan felt that for the component of bus companies to be incorporated into Kuching Sentral, the City Area Transit (CAT) System must be implemented. But for this to be successfully carried out, a fleet of 100 state-of-art buses is needed, each costing around RM350,000. “We have forwarded the proposed system to the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) and asked the federal government to help us with a RM35 million funding as it is very hard to get loans from private banks.

“The government has already earmarked RM3.5 billion for public transport low cost loans under the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP) to be given to us (public transport industry),” he said. Chan added that under the system, the new buses would ply the routes linking five other terminals to Kuching Sentral as the central hub. They are Bandar Samariang Terminal, Kubah Ria Terminal, Merdeka Plaza Terminal, Travillion Terminal and the Stutong Market Terminal. He said the system, more commonly known as Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), had proven workable and useful in developing countries like Brazil, Indonesia (Jakarta) and China (Beijing), and would be applicable to Kuching as well. The CAT proposal has been forwarded to the federal Economic Planning Unit chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak.

“This is a brand new system to be incorporated pending government funding. Academicians have also given it very good review, saying it is feasible, viable and should have been done a long time ago,” Chan added. He said UITMprofessors had discussed the project with the consortium and after looking at the proposal, thought it was high time somebody looked at something like it. According to Chan, the whole CAT concept is similar to that of a Light Rail Transit (LRT) whereby people can use buses to wherever they want to go in Kuching city. “It’s important to have a way to link all the lines to Kuching Sental since it plays a bigger role than the rest of the hubs in that it has the express bus component in it.”

All the express buses will only stop at Kuching Sentral where the passengers will be transferred to buses plying the five lines. “We believe to implement a system of this scale, we need loans for the buses and funding from the government. All the terminals have been discussed and put in place,” Chan said. All buses will have state-of-the art designs, using electronic passes via the Contactless SmartCard System, an automatic fare collection and fare verification technology. This system helps reduce long delays that generally accompany on-board payment, particularly if the driver is also responsible for fare collection and verification.

It also removes the handling of cash by drivers which reduces incidents of dishonesty onboard. It is an open and transparent fare collection system with less opportunity to lead to circumstances to withhold funds by individuals. Chan said bus passes would be on a per-entry or daily basis, allowing passengers to travel on unlimited trips for the whole day, adding that passes on credit would also be available.

Under the revolutionised system, commuters need no longer have to remember the bus numbers but just identify the buses by five colours — violet, blue, green, yellow and red. “Yellow buses follow yellow line, blue buses follow blue line and in downtown areas where buses run along the street line, we change it to a street car concept — something like in San Francisco where you can ask the bus to stop anywhere you want … only that here, we stop at the areas where passengers really want to go,” he explained.

The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system has proven workable and useful in Brazil, the US and even Jakarta and Beijing. Brazil has proven it can transfer 45,000 people per hour per direction. Chan said for the bus consortium to break even, it only needed to capture one per cent of the more than 500,000 population in Kuching. “We don’t need that many in Kuching but the system has the potential to easily move about 50,000 people per day. Here, it is only used to move a maximum of 6,000 people per hour per direction and in a day, we move about 30,000 people. “We have a strategic alliance between buses, taxis and kereta sewa operators whereby the buses need not go to feeder roads and housing estates. You just have to make a call or SMS, they (kereta sewa) will go to your house and bring you to the terminals. From there, you take a bus to where you want to go.”

Chan revealed the consortium would initially operate from 6am to 10pm daily and if successful, would adopt a 24-hour service. He is confident the system will give people another transport option … because it will be cheaper and more convenient than buying a car and servicing the monthly installments apart from rising fuel and maintenance costs and parking problems. Chan said after some calculations, it was found 70 per cent of the stopping points along a line needed zero transfer while about five per cent needed up to two transfers. “You can park your car somewhere like Boulevard Shopping Mall and Third Exchange where there are abundant spaces, then take a bus to Kuching and back. This is better than being stuck in traffic jams.”

Chan said by taking buses, the public could help prevent traffic congestions in and around the city. Citing an example, he said a motorist travelling from Kota Sentosa to Kuching city had to pass at least five traffic lights and if it took 15 minutes to get through one, more than an hour would be lost waiting at traffic lights. He is all for the CAT system, saying the existing bus system is no longer current.

He said the old system was pioneered during the colonial days when Kuching was the only workplace and everyone was staying outside the city. “Fifty years on, the model still is being used and people are still being sent to the city to work while development outside the city goes on unnoticed.” Chan said the consortium fervently hoped the government could implement the CAT system as soon as possible because they expected the global economic slowdown to spread to Malaysia in the coming months.
Lajim: Transport master plan may include LRT
Borneo Post, 14-09-2008

KUCHING: A study is underway for a public transport master plan in East Malaysia. It includes the possibility of having a Light Rail Transit (LRT) service for Sarawak. Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Lajim Ukim told reporters this after the breaking of fast here on Friday night. Lajim said the study would draw up measures for public transport for the next 10 years. “We have hired a private consultancy firm to conduct the study which was initiated early this year and would end on Jan 1 next year,” he told reporters.

Apart from finding ways to encourage more public transport operations and improve the current public transport system, the study would also look into introducing the LRT service in the state if suitable, he said. He said for the LRT service to be introduced in Sarawak, many factors had to be taken into consideration. “We have to look at the volume of users, safety measures, environmental aspects and land mass. What’s more important is to gather public opinion on whether they are ready to accept the new plan,” said Lajim. He was unable to give a definite answer that the state would have an LRT until the study was completed but, if it was, the service would be operated by a private concessionaire.

When asked why so much emphasis had been given to improving public transport in the peninsula compared to East Malaysia under the Budget 2009, Lajim said the focus, particularly on Kuala Lumpur and Klang Valley, was because they were the tourism gateway into the country. “These places are the centre of attraction for foreigners coming into Malaysia and at the moment it is more important to look into improving public transportation there,” he said, adding that he believed many people visited Kuala Lumpur before proceeding to Sarawak and Sabah.

Lajim assured that the Budget’s focus on public transport in the peninsula would not be at Sarawak’s expense. His ministry was aware of the poor standard of public transport in Sarawak and was encouraging more operators to start their business in the state. He urged all officers in the departments and agencies under his ministry to give full cooperation to the state government so more work could be done to improve public transport in Sarawak.

The breaking of fast yesterday was organised by the Sarawak Road Transport Department. It was attended by some 100 personnel of the department. During the event, Lajim said that there was no need for ministry personnel to worry about a sudden change of government despite the claims made by the opposition.

“Everywhere I go, people talk about Sept 16. There is another four days to that day, but I believe there will be no surprise because all the people’s representatives we have are those who believe in democracy.” He said elected representatives were not just interested in positions but were there to serve the people.The deputy minister assured all personnel in his ministry that there would not be any change in the departments so they did not have to worry about it.


Big Scope For Private Sector In Sarawak’s Transport Development

BINTULU, April 14 2006 (Bernama) — With Sarawak still lacking in transport infrastructure, the scope for private sector involvement in transport-related projects is enormous and the state goverment wants it to lend a helping hand. Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu, in stating this, said Sarawak has less than 15 years to narrow the development gap and catch up with the Peninsular states, and to achieve the developed state status by 2020.”An efficient and cost-effective system of transportation and communication is imperative to facilitate the rapid development of the state economy. However, this involves huge sums of investment which the government alone cannot do,” he said.

“In this regard, the state will have to consider a more active role of the private sector in the development of some major transport infrastructures and also the possibility of introducing rail transport and other possible new modes of transport such as Light Rail Transport (LRT) and Mass Rapid Transport (MRT) in urban centres,” he added. Jabu, who is also Infrastructure Development and Communication Minister, said the government is open to investments by the private sector, particularly in transport-related projects. In a paper entitled “Transport Infrastructure: Scope of Participative Development” presented at a regional conference here recently, he said the transport sector plays a crucial role in developments as the state covers a land area of 124,449 square kilometres.

However, with a coastline of about 720 kilometres long and dissected by a total of 32 rivers with navigable length of about 3,500 kilometres, Sarawak poses a tremendous challenge for transport infrastructure development, he added. As a developing state, transport infrastructure development, particularly land transport, plays vital role in connecting the people of Sarawak and support the economy and its activities, he said. Over the various development plan periods, about 30 per cent of the development allocation was for transport infrastructure, he noted. In the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP), the federal government has allocated RM15,108 million for development allocation and expenditure in Sarawak.

Touching on issues and challenges of the transport sector in Sarawak, Jabu said the integration of transport network in the state is rather lacking or fragmented. “Many of the roads are not constructed to the desired standard due to lack of funds. Public transport is also lacking in terms of infrastructure, facilities and services provided,” he said. According to him, existing integration between land, water and air transport is relatively low, thus reducing the overall efficiency of the transport sector in Sarawak. Jabusaid in the 9MP, private initiatives would be further accelerated to enhance efficiency and productivity with priority given to projects that generate multiplier effects, are commercially viable and contribute to social well-being.

“The government will continue to identify new projects viable for privatisation and corporatisation. Coupled with the increasing interest shown by the private sector, it is expected that the number of projects to be privatised will increase significantly,” he said.”Efforts will also be made towards ensuring that major concession companies play a more active role in socio-economic development in meeting some of the needs in society,” he added.

Sarawak Mulls LRT System For Kuching

KUCHING, Feb 15 2005 (Bernama) — The increasingly congested roads in Kuching city have prompted the state government to consider introducing a light rail transit (LRT) system. However, it was not easy to be implemented, said Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Urban Development) Datuk Alfred Yap Chin Loi. “Based on a public transport study we have undertaken, the plan is not easy to implement as the cost is high but we are lobbying for federal funds to do it,” he told reporters at the Chinese New Year open house hosted by the Stapok Branch of the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP), here Tuesday.

To reduce traffic congestion in the city, the state government was also considering a plan to build pick-up and drop-off points for taxis in certain localities, he said. “This is one of the measures we are considering but we have to study its implication. The point is to discourage hire cars from going into the city center by restricting them to certain pick-up and drop-off points,” he said. He said the proposal came from the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board and had been discussed with both the Kuching Utara City Hall and Kuching Selatan Municipal Council.

The system was also expected to overcome the problem of lack of parking space in the city, he said. Yap said the state government also planned to develop more satellite towns to prevent overcrowding in the city. “With the development of such areas, people do not have to come to the city to get daily necessities as such items can be obtained in their locality,” he said. He said several areas, which had potential to be developed as satellite towns were Batu Kawa, Matang, BDC, Batu 7, Batu 10, Batu 17 and Siburan.