KOTA KINABALU – The RM1 billion promised to Sabah to develop the Kota Kinabalu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in 2016 was never received by the state.
Datuk Abidin Madingkir, Sabah’s assistant minister in the Chief Minister’s Department, confirmed this during the department’s response to issues on state’s 2021 Budget raised by reps in the state legislative assembly here.
“We have been promised RM1 billion. But the allocation never arrived until today,” said Madingkir when questioned by Phoon Jin Zhe (DAP-Luyang) over the BRT.
The BRT plan was ﬁrst mooted by then prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for Budget 2016 in October 2015 with a sum of RM1 billion allocated for the initiative.
The new public transportation system was supposed to be operational by the end of 2020, but it has not materialised.
Phoon proposed to the state government to consider building a Light Rail system to suit present needs as opposed to a BRT planned ten years ago.
Towards this end, Madingkir said the government would have to refer to project consultants to decide whether a BRT or a light rail system better suits the current needs of Kota Kinabalu commuters.
He noted however that the new public transportation system must deal with congestion in the city centre.
Madingkir is the assistant minister-in-charge of Kota Kinabalu City Hall and a former Kota Kinabalu mayor.
On other matters, Madingkir said there is no need for the state government to make it compulsory for civil servants to retire at 55 as the matter is optional.
He said an officer can choose whether he or she wants to retire at age 60 or 55.
Madingkir also responded to the 30% quota call for women as decision-makers, saying that women holding Grade 48 posts, accounting for 33% or 138 officers, while men account for 67% or 284 officers.