Joint media conference statement by Liew Chin Tong, Tan Hong Pin and Khairul Faizi Ahmad Kamil on 21st May 2013 at Kluang Railway Station
Greater Kluang: tasks for Acting Transport Minister
We welcome the appointment of Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein as Acting Transport Minister. He is the MP for Sembrong, which is part of the District of Kluang and sits exactly next to the parliamentary seat of Kluang.
Hishammuddin is likely to hold the transport portfolio for as long as MCA cannot get its act together. The nation, in particular the District of Kluang, would be better off if Hishammuddin takes his second portfolio seriously, although he is not known for doing so.
Broadly, Pakatan Rakyat is of the view
- That the transport ministry must also oversee the public transport sector and that this area is not to be placed within the Prime Minister’s Department;
- That public transport, especially railway, must be placed at the centre of any new national transport policy and strategy;
And for the District of Kluang, especially areas within the Sembrong parliamentary seat, Hishammuddin as Transport Minister has a golden opportunity to unlock the potential of a “second Iskandar Malaysia” of Johor in the form of a “Greater Kluang region” that is connected through railway.
We will be seeking an appointment with Hishammuddin to propose the following so that the District of Kluang benefits from his brief tenure as Acting Transport Minister:-
1. The Greater Kluang Inter-town railway service
The District of Kluang consists of Kluang and its surrounding towns, including Paloh, Chamek, Mengkibol, Renggam and Layang-layang. All these areas are connected via railway.
Paloh, Chamek, Kluang, Mengkibol, Renggam and Layang-layang have existing railway station. KTMB should be tasked to make full use of these existing stations to offer inter-town train service with refurbished coaches.
The economic and social benefits of bringing the people of the District of Kluang together is quite obvious. For the first time, the entire district will be linked, which will help various economic sectors, especially those in agriculture and tourism sectors.
2. Double tracking and better railway services
Historically, the District of Kluang prospered on the back of a strong railway system. It is time to make the Malaysian railway system a world class service.
The world has seen a revival of railway services in the past two decades but sadly the railway services in Malaysia deteriorated during this period.
If the national rail service is in good shape, we can envisage that apart from Iskandar Malaysia, the District of Kluang will become an area of great development and importance. In fact, places like Segamat and other towns along the railway line will get a new lease of life.
3. Compensation for residents affected by the double tracking project
In our meeting with Hishammuddin, we also intend to discuss with the Acting Minister of Transport on the issue of compensation for residents affected by the double tracking project.
Liew Chin Tong is the MP for Kluang
Tan Hong Pin is the State Assemblyman for Mengkibol
Khairul Faizi Ahmad Kamil is the Yang Dipertua of PAS Kluang