The Ministry of Transport has applied to conduct a feasibility study on the logistics network connecting Sabah and Sarawak to Kalimantan, Indonesia through rail and air transportation.

Deputy Minister Datuk Hasbi Habibollah said efforts to enhance the logistics network to Indonesia’s new capital, which is included in the Fourth Rolling Plan of the 12th Malaysia Plan, are currently being considered by the Ministry of Economy.

“A feasibility study will be conducted to ensure that the implementation of the railway development in Sabah and Sarawak is good value for money and has a positive impact on the local social and economic aspects.

“The study will also involve economic development strategies for residents living along the route as well as Economic Accelerator Projects (EAP) that will have a broader impact,” he said when winding up the debate on the Mid-Term Review of the 12th Malaysia Plan for the ministry in Dewan Negara, today.

Hasbi said the ministry is confident that Indonesia’s capital move from Jakarta to Kalimantan will have a positive impact on the logistics network in Sabah and Sarawak.

According to him, the ministry encourages local or foreign airlines to provide direct international flight services by considering several measures including bilateral negotiations with foreign countries each year to establish or enhance air traffic rights between Malaysia and those countries.

Hasbi said other measures that should be emphasised is to liberalise certain cities in Sabah and Sarawak under the ASEAN Multilateral Agreement on the Full Liberalisation of Passenger Services.

“Through the agreement that was signed and ratified by Malaysia, airlines in ASEAN countries are allowed to operate flights to any ASEAN destinations, without restrictions on frequency, capacity and aircraft type,” he said.

The government will also offer various incentives through the Airlines Incentives Programme by Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad to foreign airlines operating flights to any airport in the country, including major cities in Sabah and Sarawak, he added.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency