KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysia’s mass rapid transit (MRT) network is considered superior to comparable systems in London and New York, Prime Minister Najib Razak claimed on Monday (July 17) as he launched the second phase of the line.
“I asked someone recently to rate our MRT, where do we stand compared to others? The person said we are better than London, New York, or Hong Kong. And on a par with Singapore,” he said.
The second phase of the line connects the suburb of Sungai Buloh in the north of Selangor to the township of Kajang in the south of the state.
The premier did not reveal the identity of the person, but he said he felt “enormous pride and personal satisfaction” over the completion of the rail project, which he claimed is the most modern MRT system in the world.
“As Malaysians, we can stand tall today that we have a world-class project for the people. We are seeing not just the MRT, but the shape of the future of Malaysia before our eyes,” The Star Online quoted Mr Najib as saying.
With the launch, the entire Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) line is now operational.
The MRT, a RM21 billion (S$6.7 billion) infrastructure project, will serve 1.2 million people along its 51km route.
Services operate at a frequency of every 3.5 minutes, with each four-coach train able to accommodate 1,200 passengers per trip.
It is estimated that some 400,000 people will commute on the MRT a day.
The MRT will integrate with existing and future rail-based networks to form the backbone of the Klang Valley’s public transportation system.
In conjunction with the launch, Mr Najib also announced half-price fares for all public transport service in Kuala Lumpur until Aug 31.
He also said the MRT was only the “beginning” of Putrajaya’s plans to improve the country’s public transportation infrastructure.
“By 2027, we aim to have a fully integrated public transportation system,” he said.
Another LRT (light rail transit) line is also currently under construction, and is scheduled for completion by 2020.
A second MRT line is expected to be completed by 2022, with a third targeted for 2027.
Meanwhile, Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak on Monday said that the MRT is a “gift” from Mr Najib to Malaysia.
He wrote on his blog: “This is a gift from the PM to the country. So let us celebrate yet another symbol of a successful public transportation infrastructure.” AGENCIES